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Bridging The Ditch

Auckland, 7 November 2007

Bridging The Ditch Finsia Forges Closer Australasian Economic Ties

The Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia) met with senior finance industry representatives in Auckland last week, to discuss the current state of the Australasian financial sector and to determine policy priorities for 2008.

The roundtable event, which was part of Finsia's Policy@work thought leadership series, was facilitated in part by political commentator Barry Soper, who provided an update on the recent cabinet reshuffle and the likely impact on the finance sector.

Key issues discussed included: the renewal of leadership in progressing closer economic ties between Australia and New Zealand, the progress of KiwiSaver and five-year periodic review of retirement savings, adequacy of business tax arrangements and the lack of local incentives to succeed in the finance industry.

Dr Martin Fahy, Finsia's recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Following the sale of our education business to Kaplan, we have greater resources and firmer resolve to be a strong advocate on Trans-Tasman issues. The Policy@work series works to determine our core campaigns for 2008 and identify the major challenges facing the Australasian financial services industry. We have created this forum for our members to raise industry challenges and reach out to Government and regulators."

Fahy continued: "If Australasia is to continue to attract inward investment as a location for financial services we need to address the use of competiveness particularly with reference to regulatory environment and talent retention."

"Finsia has welcomed initiatives such as KiwiSaver and policies which aim to build a stronger and more productive economy in New Zealand, however, Government needs to consider and address the concerns of the finance sector by providing clear incentives to succeed in business. Ultimately, this is critical in ensuring long-term economic growth and therefore financial security for New Zealanders," concluded Fahy.

ENDS

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