Promoting more competition in financial markets

Australian Treasury

The Albanese Government is consulting on changes to improve competition in the trading of shares and other securities as part of its reforms to strengthen Australia’s financial system.

The draft legislation released today aims to support competition in clearing and settlement services, which are critical to the functioning and stability of financial markets.

The changes seek to provide any emerging competitors with fair, transparent and non‑discriminatory access to market infrastructure, allowing them to offer their own clearing and settlement services.

These reforms are all about ensuring we have a competitive financial system that works for consumers, businesses and investors – and that delivers for the Australian economy and the Australian people.

The Reserve Bank and ASIC will be given powers to set rules for the conduct of clearing and settlement service facilities – helping to improve safeguards in our financial markets and stopping existing providers using their market dominance to prevent competition.

In addition, the ACCC will be given the power to arbitrate disputes between parties around the price and access to clearing and settlement services.

This legislation will implement the Council of Financial Regulators’ recommendations from 2012 and 2015 to amend the Corporations Act 2001, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the ASIC Act 2001 – recommendations that were ignored by the previous government.

The Government welcomes comments and feedback from stakeholders on the draft legislation and explanatory materials, which are available on the Treasury website.

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