Point of View: With the Recent Merger of the SIA and AIBF, and the Changing Political Climate, the ISFB Is Reviewing Its Focus on Key Markets and Public Policy Issues. Two Important Issues Have Been Identified as the Analysis of Reporting Season Trends, and Retirement Incomes and the Behavioural Attitudes of Australians towards Saving for Retirement

Journal of Banking and Financial Services, August-September 2005 | Go to article overview

Point of View: With the Recent Merger of the SIA and AIBF, and the Changing Political Climate, the ISFB Is Reviewing Its Focus on Key Markets and Public Policy Issues. Two Important Issues Have Been Identified as the Analysis of Reporting Season Trends, and Retirement Incomes and the Behavioural Attitudes of Australians towards Saving for Retirement


For the first time in 25 years the Federal Government now holds the balance of power in the Senate. Although this appears, on the surface, to have altered Australia's political landscape significantly--it remains to be seen whether the Government will use its power to force legislation through Parliament. This will depend largely on the approach taken by Prime Minister John Howard.

The Prime Minister is likely to face some of his greatest challenges during the next three years despite his apparent control of Federal Parliament. After nine years of internal Coalition discipline, the situation appears to have changed with the emergence of soft 'I' factions, ginger groups and the Nationals' maverick Senator Barnaby Joyce.

The new political climate requires a different approach to policy and advocacy from organisations such as the Institute of Securities, Finance and Banking (ISFB). Policy change will require a more direct approach to the Coalition Ministers and backbenchers and the public sector on major legislative reforms. Equally crucial will be an enlarged understanding of the 'Opposition'--not only Labor and the minor parties but also the media and independent advocacy groups.

Given this new political climate and the recent merger of the SIA and AIBF it is timely for the ISFB to review its focus on markets and public policy issues that directly relate to our mission.

Earlier this year, the policy team commissioned an independent Perceptions Audit by Gavin Anderson & Company regarding the then SIA's policy and advocacy role. The audit indicated that:

* the Institute is in a 'prime position' to take an industry leadership role;

* the priority is to 'build on' the activities to communicate the policies and position of the Institute directly with the government and media, in a 'diplomatic way'; and

* government welcomes the Institute's views as a relevant and interested party. Importantly, the Institute was recognised as independent.

In view of these findings, two key public policy and markets policy projects currently on our agenda are:

(i) Retirement incomes and the behavioural attitudes of Australians, particularly Generations X and Y, towards saving for retirement; and

(ii) an analysis of reporting season trends.

Retirement incomes

The level of retirement incomes is a major issue affecting Australians and one in which the Institute can be an independent and credible voice to government.

We are currently conducting a research project to gauge the attitudes and perceptions of Australians in regard to planning for their retirement. This research--being conducted through the Institute's Consumer Affairs Taskforce (which includes high-profile members from industry, academia and government)--has particular reference to the under-40 age cohort and includes comparative analyses between men and women. …

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Point of View: With the Recent Merger of the SIA and AIBF, and the Changing Political Climate, the ISFB Is Reviewing Its Focus on Key Markets and Public Policy Issues. Two Important Issues Have Been Identified as the Analysis of Reporting Season Trends, and Retirement Incomes and the Behavioural Attitudes of Australians towards Saving for Retirement
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