1.7 Productivity Commission Competition Report

The Murray Inquiry had recommended that ‘Government should provide more clarity around its expectations of regulators’ and that ‘regulators should develop better performance indicators’.[1] In its report on competition in the Australian financial system, the Productivity Commission emphasised the importance it attached to both Government statements of expectations and regulators’ statements of intent. The Productivity Commission urged the swift publication of updated statements of expectations written in clear language,[2] and recommended that regulators publish their statements of intent within three months of receiving the statement of expectations. It recommended further, that regulators provide in their annual reports ‘information on the actions they have taken in line with their statements of intent and outcomes on performance measures’.[3]

One other recommendation made by the Productivity Commission should be noted. It recommended that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) be made a permanent member of the CFR and that it ‘be given a mandate by the Australian Government to champion competition in the financial system, including in decisions taken by regulators that have or may have the outcome of restricting competition’.[4] This goes to matters beyond this Commission’s Terms of Reference and I offer no comment on it.

These matters of history explain how and why we have come to the present regulatory arrangements.

Further consideration of whether to modify those arrangements may usefully begin by recognising the size of ASIC’s remit as conduct regulator.


[1] Murray Inquiry, Final Report, November 2014, 235.

[2] Productivity Commission, Report 89, 29 June 2018, 535 Recommendation 18.1.

[3] Productivity Commission, Report 89, 29 June 2018, 535 Recommendation 18.1.

[4] Productivity Commission, Report 89, 29 June 2018, 556 Recommendation 19.1.