Last week in Sydney the Insurance Council of Australia attracted 250 people to its annual forum to hear leaders speak on the challenges and opportunities in insurance and financial services in Australia. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and media personality David Speers joined CEOs from the insurance and finance sector and key regulators at the Sydney Hilton to consider the outlook for financial service and general insurance consumers.
Good Shepherd Microfinance CEO, Adam Mooney, joined a lively panel discussion on the Financial System Inquiry, ahead of the Australian Government's response.
Alongside other panellists, FSI member and former AMP CEO, Craig Dunn, Chair of Alinta Energy, Mark Johnson OA and CEO of the Insurance Council, Rob Whelan, Adam Mooney congratulated and thanked the FSI members for recommending that the Australian Government increase investment in financial inclusion and for taking time to hear the voices of the three million financially excluded people in Australia.
Adam noted the relationship between the FSI and other important inquiries such as the McClure welfare review and the Tax White Paper. He also said that all consumers, not just those on middle and high incomes, have dreams of personal and economic wellbeing that insurers and banks could play a role to realise, through innovation and embracing new technologies. Insurance exclusion is very high in Australia with 18 per cent of adults unable to get the cover, and peace of mind, they seek. There is clear evidence that the financial system can play a crucial role in enabling economic mobility and wellbeing for over three million adults in Australia, driving GDP growth of at least $20 billion and savings Government at least $2.6 billion in welfare and expensive emergency and crisis services.
Panellists hoped that recommendations to increase and expand financial inclusion initiatives and to stimulate social impact investment - key in achieving the FSI aims of 'safety', 'availability' and 'fairness' - would be picked up by Government when it announces its response and policy.
To watch the session and learn more from the forum see here: