ACFS initiated Funding Australia’s Future in 2012 to better understand the changing dynamics of the financial system and its impact on future economic growth.

These four papers, released in July 2014, drill down into the issues identified in Stage One of the project and culminate in a set of recommendations for improving Australia’s Financial System. This research provided valuable input to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) on how well Australia’s financial sector serves the economy (especially households and business), and how effectively it links the sources and uses of finance for the benefit of Australian society.

Funding Australia’s Future: Stage Two was launched in March 2014 Dr David Murray AO, Chair of the Financial System Inquiry.

Keynote address | Media Release

More information on each specific paper can be accessed using the links below.


Financing the Australian Business Sector
Dr Sam Wylie Download the paper | Download the presentation

The financing requirements of Australian business over the next 10-15 years are considered in a framework of competing capital channels. Four arguments are made in the paper. First, that Australian policy makers should take a more comprehensive view of capital channels, and that the Federal Government should not increase support for the bank channel, absent a major crisis. Second, that the disruptive effect of the unwinding of quantitative easing on the financing of Australian SMEs and infrastructure needs to be better understood. Third, the cost of entry for new lenders into the SME lending market should be reduced. Finally, that there is a natural and important role for securitisation in business funding and the securitisation channel should be allowed to grow and innovate. Read More


Australian Household Sector Finances Professor
Michael E. Drew and Dr Adam N. Walk Download the paper | Download the presentation

The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of recent household savings, investment and borrowing trends, including rates of return, costs and risks, and types of financial products and services used (including in post-retirement). The paper will also consider how the financial sector currently contributes to household balance sheet development over the lifecycle. Read More


International Linkages: Financial Markets and Technology Professor
Deborah Ralston and Mr Martin Jenkinson Download the paper | Download the presentation

International capital flows can be facilitated directly through market based transactions or indirectly through intermediaries including banks and investment managers. In both cases, the financial infrastructure available to financial sector participants plays a key role in determining the efficiency and fairness of the transactions. Therefore, financial infrastructure has a direct impact on the cost of capital and returns on investment for both Australian businesses and investors. Read More


Regulating the Australian Financial System
Mr Alex Erskine Download the paper | Download the presentation

This paper addresses some questions that have arisen since the Wallis Inquiry on how the financial system is best regulated to fund Australia’s future. Some stem from structural developments, including the growth of superannuation, the rise of Asia, the availability and complexity of financial products and the cost of financial services, or from advances in technology. Others arise from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), which has been the catalyst for regulatory reforms around the world as previous approaches to regulation have been found wanting. Read More


A key objective of this project is to ensure the papers bring together a diverse range of insights and opinions from all areas of the Australian financial services sector, however in accordance with the ACFS Code of Research Conduct, the final outcomes are independent. This project was supported by the following organisations:




Professor Michael DrewProfessor Michael E. Drew is Professor of Finance at the Griffith Business School of Griffith University. He holds a PhD from the University and Queensland and has previously served on the finance faculty at the Australian National University and the Queensland University of Technology. He has held Senior Executive and Trustee Committee appointments with the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) Limited, QSuper, Wilson HTM, Ord Minnett and JB Were & Son. Professor Drew’s research has studied and developed new approaches to the design of the default option in superannuation funds, as well as devising winning strategies for lifecycle funds

Alex ErskineAlex Erskine is Managing Director and Founder of Erskinomics Consulting Pty Limited, focused on promoting economic and financial development, both national and international. Most recently he served 6 years as head of research with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), responsible for its economics and consumer market research team, rethinking of the approach to securities regulation after the Global Financial Crisis. He has a BA in economics and an MA from the University of Cambridge. He has been a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Executive Committee of Australian Business Economists since 1999, and was President of the NSW Branch of the Economic Society of Australia in 1993–94. He is also a former Board member of Diabetes Australia NSW and Australian Diabetes Council.

Martin JenkinsonMartin Jenkinson is the Research Officer at the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. Martin has written on topics including the corporate bond market, superannuation regulation, the Australian equities market, venture capital and funding innovation in Australia. Martin has an MA in banking and finance from Monash University and is a CFA level III candidate.


Professor Deborah RalstonProfessor Deborah Ralston is the Executive Director of the Australian Centre and a Professor of Finance at Monash University. Previous appointments include Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Business Law and Information Science at the University of Canberra, and Director of the Centre for Australian Financial Institutions at the University of Southern Queensland. Deborah’s academic background is in economics and financial management and her research interests include the impact of financial regulation, the strategy and management of financial institutions and regional economic development. Deborah is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the CPA Australia. Deborah was formerly a Director of Heritage Building Society 1992-2003 and is currently a Director of the listed mortgage broking company Mortgage Choice.

Dr Adam WalkDr Adam N. Walk is a Research Fellow in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics at Griffith Business School, where his research focuses on pension finance, investment management and risk management. Dr Walk has held previous appointments in the financial services industry at the Bank of Queensland, the National Credit Union Association, QIC and QSuper. he is Chairman at Holy Spirit Care Services, a not-for-profit provider of retirement living and aged care services. He received his PhD in Financial Economics from Griffith University.

Dr Sam WylieDr Sam Wylie is a Principal Fellow of the Melbourne Business School and Associate Professor of the University of Melbourne. Dr Wylie’s research and consulting is focused on banking, wealth management and the GFC. He has worked with Australian superannuation funds, Merrill Lynch, Franklin Templeton, AMP, Moss Ledge Capital, Resource Capital Fund, Johnson Fry, Greenway Capital, and others.  Dr Wylie was an Assistant Professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College from 1997-2004 (rated the world’s best business school by the WSJ in 2011 and 2012). He obtained his PhD from the London Business School. He also has a Master of Economics degree from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Western Australia. From 1986-1992 Dr Wylie was an Intelligence Officer with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.


The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) initiated the Funding Australia’s Future project in late 2012 to undertake a stocktake of the Australian financial system, and its role and challenges in facilitating future economic growth within the wider economy.

In an economy that has enjoyed 21 years of consecutive economic growth and shown a resilience through the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) which is the envy of many nations, the financial sector has played a strong and pivotal role. The past decade, however, has been one of significant change. The impact of the GFC and the subsequent wave of global re-regulation have had a profound effect on patterns of financing, financial sector structure, and attitudes towards financial sector regulation. Identifying the extent to which these changes are transitory or likely to be more permanent is crucial to understanding how financing patterns and the financial sector will develop over the next decade or so.

The Funding Australia’s Future project is in three stages, the second of which assessed how well Australia’s financial sector serves the economy, and how effectively it links the sources and uses of finance for the benefit of Australian society.