What are consumers worried about? What are they thinking about? What do they want?As the CEO of the Financial Services Council, obviously I have to understand what my members want and need across our portfolios of wealth, funds and asset management, life insurance, superannuation, financial advice networks and trustee companies, but it's also very important to me to understand what consumers are thinking about.

Since 2013 the superannuation industry has been working to implement the Data and Payment Standards (SuperStream). These standards are now the “business-as-usual” operating model for rollovers for all APRA-regulated funds and for contributions for all APRA-regulated funds, SMSFs and large employers. Small employers should mostly all be on board by 1 July 2016. 

Australia will be the winner if the mooted company tax cut is quickly passed by Parliament.There are challenging arguments which must be won for the benefits to flow.If essential reforms can be defeated by populist arguments, Australia would already be a Banana Republic as Paul Keating feared in the 1980s.

The financial services industry has always been an 'issues rich' environment for our politicians and policy-makers, and this year has been no exception.This means that there were many policy issues impacting on the financial services industry that were being debated by parliament last week when the parliament was prorogued and the Government made major steps towards an early election.

With major consultation activity underway across senior life insurance executives and consumer groups in the lead up to 1 July 2016, we interviewed Sarah Phillips, Financial Services Council Policy Consultant (Life Insurance) on the FSC’s critical work to help restore confidence in the life insurance

The achievement of a broad Asia-Pacific free trade area may remain a far-off goal, but real progress is meanwhile underway in the funds industry. The Asia Region Funds Passport, an initiative of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, is set to commence next year, with final rules on eligibility and permitted investment types expected to be published shortly.

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