Angus Livingston, AAP National Economics Writer
(Australian Associated Press)
Australia’s battered and bruised financial services industry is gearing up for expansion into overseas markets.
The sector is also looking at ways to get more women into leadership roles, with women making up just nine per cent of chief executives in the industry.
The Financial Services Council’s 2019 State of the Industry Report has targeted exports as a growth market Australia hasn’t fully tapped in to.
Of the $93 billion in services Australia exported in 2017/18, just $5.4 billion was financial services.
“While Australia has an advantage in terms of the domestic performance of its financial services industry, we are not making full use of this to export these services to the rest of the world,” the report released on Wednesday said.
Council chief executive Sally Loane said looking overseas was a natural move.
“More could be done to maximise the potential for financial services exports with just 5.9 per cent of services exports coming from the sector,” she said.
“This is well below the OECD average of 12.7 per cent.”
One of the areas the report targets is funds management, using expertise from Australia’s superannuation scheme – the fourth largest private pension system in the world.
“Australia still has significant opportunities to expand exports of funds management, with Australia managing only a small fraction of total funds on behalf of overseas investors,” the report said.
Ms Loane also said the sector needed to look at increasing the number of women in senior leadership roles.
Just nine per cent of financial services chief executives are women, significantly lower than the average for all industries of 17 per cent.
The financial services industry copped a hammering at the banking royal commission, leading the report to say the financial advice industry was in a “state of flux”.
The number of financial advisers in Australia jumped solidly in December 2018 as new rules led to advisers completing their registration.
“However, the numbers of advisers may decline in the short-term due to significant changes to the sector including increased regulation, new education standards, and market movements as large institutions de-merge and sell their adviser groups,” the report said.