6 September 2023

New legislation to promote more competition in financial markets


Joint media release with
The Hon Stephen Jones MP
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services

The Albanese Government has today passed legislation to improve competition in the trading of shares and other securities as part of important reforms to strengthen Australia’s financial system and modernise our economy.

The legislation which passed through the Senate today will support competition in clearing and settlement services, which are critical to the functioning and stability of financial markets.

It creates a framework for fair, transparent and non‑discriminatory access to market infrastructure for any emerging competitors, allowing them to offer their own clearing and settlement services.

By making our markets more modern, we will make our economy more productive, competitive and dynamic.

Whether it’s our recently announced review of competition policy settings, efforts to renew and renovate our institutions or the legislation passed today, our economic plan is engineered to boost competition and ensure we are beneficiaries of the big shifts that are shaping our economy.

The reforms legislated today 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.

From Royal Assent, the Reserve Bank and ASIC will have powers to set rules for the conduct of clearing and settlement service facilities – helping to improve safeguards in our financial markets and stop existing providers using their market dominance to prevent competition.

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

This legislation implements 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.