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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8290


Senator McALLISTER (New South WalesDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (12:56): I rise to make a contribution on behalf of the opposition to the consideration of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Sector Regulation) Bill 2018. The opposition will be supporting this bill in the Senate, as we did in the House. We will support this bill because it is designed to increase competition in our banking sector, and you will always find the opposition leading the charge in the parliament when it comes to championing competition in financial services.

It is important that we don't overstate the impact of this bill in improving competition. The bill covers off an important area of law but it doesn't represent a seismic shift in competition. The changes in this bill are small ones. That is not to say that these small changes are not welcome. This bill will make some changes to provide opportunities for new market entrants who are doing exciting things, who are communicating with their customers in different ways and who are trying to increase competition and diversity in financial services. The major change that is being made by this bill is that it will increase the ownership threshold applying to companies that want to provide life insurance or general insurance, or to become authorised deposit-taking institutions or relevant holding companies in Australia, from 15 per cent to 20 per cent. Although the impact of this bill will be small, the impact will be an overwhelmingly positive one, which is why Labor is happy to support this bill.