The Australian Centre for Financial Studies is an independent research centre that provides thought leadership on issues of concern for the financial sector and the broader community.
ACFS, which is part of Monash Business School, facilitates industry-relevant, rigorous research and independent commentary by drawing on expertise from academia, industry and government. Our research is accessible, evidence-based and independent, and aims to inform public policy, community debate and industry practice.

In addition to our research, ACFS acts as a platform for collaboration by experts across academia, industry and government.  Through this, ACFS supports Australia as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.  One of the current major research projects is “Financial Integration in Asia” that will assess the implications of Asia’s rise for the financial services industry throughout the region.  China’s continued financial reform and opening is a major area of investigation in the project. Other ongoing projects include the Australian Equities Database, the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, the CSIRO-Melbourne Superannuation Research Cluster and Funding Australia’s Future.

Latest research

Funding Australia's Future

Prof Kevin Davis, Dr Ian Opperman, Prof Deborah Ralston

  • Dividend imputation and the Australian financial system
  • Big and better data, innovation and the financial sector
  • Financial issues in retirement: the search for post-retirement products

Trends in the Australian small loan market (payday lending)

Dr Marcus Banks, Dr Ashton de Silva, Prof Roslyn Russell

The paper investigates the 'payday lending' market in Australia and the issues involved in regulating the sector...

Read the research papers Read the commissioned paper


Latest events

7th Conference on Financial Markets and Corporate Governance

Expert regulators, academics and practitioners discussed superannuation and taxation, dividend imputation, corporate governance and culture, and current issues in banking regulation...

CSIRO Monash Superannuation Research Symposium                                                

Local and international academics presented research on the role of superannuation in the economy: the technical aspects of funds management in the superannuation sector; and social or behavioural considerations for Australians over 60...

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Dear Cluster Researchers and Stakeholders,


We had some very distressing news today regarding one of our best and brightest young researchers Dr Maria Strydom, a member of CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster- Project 3. It is with great sadness that I need to inform you that Maria  perished on her descent from the summit of Mt Everest.

It is hard to...

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The year 2015 was significant at the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS), as the Centre celebrated milestones and undertook change to support continued growth and impact in the future.
In August of 2015, ACFS celebrated its 10th anniversary. This is quite a remarkable achievement for a centre that started with seed funding of $1 million from the Victorian Government...

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

ACFS is seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) from academics at affiliated universities* for the preparation of three commissioned papers on the topic of data access and availability in the financial sector. ACFS will commission up to three papers exploring this topic separately in the fields of:

  • banking;
  • insurance; and
  • funds management and...
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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Is a royal commission into banking required? I think not. There have been many problematic incidents adversely affecting customers in the banking and financial sector in Australia – although whether they are more frequent and more substantive than elsewhere is open to question.

Moreover, examining those incidents, determining whether there are systemic causes, and identifying possible...

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Australian government’s statement on supporting fintechs, released by Treasurer Scott Morrison yesterday, will accelerate the process of getting such businesses to market.

Fintech businesses are based on digital finance models, and include peer to peer lenders, crowdfunding platforms, automated advice models and new payments platforms. They offer a compelling consumer proposition...

Monday, 14 March 2016

It’s not every day that I feel the need to fight with Martin Wolf. The Financial Times commentator is an eminently respectable analyst and most of the time makes good sense. However, last week he sort of lost the plot.

Mr Wolf has written that technology will do to finance what it has done to media, taxi companies and hotel rooms. The financial version of Twitter, Uber and Airbnb will...

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Ensuring that retirees have sufficient financial resources to support their health and well being in retirement represents one of the major challenges for society in our age. Australia is an ageing society, with retirees representing an ever-growing share of the overall population.  Over the next 10 years, Australia’s baby boomer demographic will move into the retirement...

Monday, 27 July 2015

Australia has one of the largest pools of assets under management in the world, and has developed a comparative advantage in investment management. Australia’s expertise makes it well-placed to capitalise on the growth of the funds management industry in Asia. There is bipartisan government support to grow the amount of foreign sourced funds managed in Australia, with mutual recognition...

Monday, 8 September 2014

In our experience, the Australian funds management industry has largely adopted the Henry Ford “one size fits all approach” in that most fund managers don’t tailor different strategies for different types of investors. Funds tend to be run the same “Henry Ford” way no matter who the underlying investor is. Yet there are significant differences between retirees and other investors, including...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Financial systems, their institutions, markets and regulatory bodies, are constantly evolving in response to the changing dynamics of technology, politics, demographics and cultural norms. These pressures are evident in Australia today where Australia’s ageing population provides a challenge to both public resources and the financial services sector in terms of meeting the needs of this...

Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Technological innovation is underpinning a revolution in how financial services are delivered in Australia, says Professor Deborah Ralston, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS).    “Today this technology enables wealth managers to deliver financial advice to three million people annually, to oversee the administration of 20 million superannuation member...
Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The role of independent research bodies such as the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) will be critical to the current review of Australia’s financial system.

David Murray, the former chairman of the Future Fund who is heading the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), told the launch of Stage 2 of the ACFS’s Funding Australia's Future project in Sydney last night that much of its...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Management earnings forecasts (forecasts) are voluntary disclosures made by companies that inform stakeholders about their expected future financial performance. In Australia, management typically release forecasts as part of a routine information event such as the Chairman's address at the AGM or with the release of the half-yearly earnings. Alternatively, management may release a non-routine...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Following amendments to the Corporations Law in 1999, changes to the ASX listing rules enabled small and unprofitable companies to list on the ASX as Commitments Test Entities (CTEs). This approach appears to be unique internationally; although second board or sub-markets often exist - such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). While, for example, the...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

With draft new legislation on tax treatment of off-market share buybacks under consideration , the future of this popular capital management tool is open to question. The proposed changes will reduce the tax benefits to participants and consequently the discount of the buyback price to current share market price. This makes them less attractive to companies as a capital management technique,...