A white paper produced by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and Fujitsu has outlined opportunities for the financial services industry to improve its customer service by using techniques of cloud computing.

The paper, ‘Customer Centricity in the Cloud’, argues that with changing circumstances and expectations within the financial services industry, Cloud Computing services that are delivered on demand, on a scalable transactional basis, will offer a new way to provide differentiated services to targeted segments.

“Essentially thanks to high availability networks, it is feasible to provide services on a per-transaction basis, running over secure connections to applications run in high availability centres. These services can now be accessed through a secure web browser and can be managed by business users – removing the dependency on internal and external IT support. The ability for business managers to own and manage the technology also delivers greater agility for the business and an ability to respond to customer feedback in real time – so creating real time customer centricity.”

Revenues raised from the new Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT)will go towards building superannuation savings, increasing Australia’s total superannuation savings to an estimated $6.2 trillion by 2036.

Mortgage exit fees will be banned from 1 July 2011 after the Federal Government passed legislation outlawing the practice.

ASIC has released a consultation paper on proposals that would revise ASIC’s policy on how debt securities can be described in offer documents and the preferred form of advertising for these instruments. 

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has announced it will be examining the quality of financial advice via ‘shadow shopping’ research in 2011, with a focus on advice provided to people at retirement.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has launched a new personal finance website called MoneySmart to help people make good financial decisions by providing free, independent and unbiased information, tools and motivation.

Westpac has announced it will relaunch the Bank of Melbourne in August.

Consumer confidence in Western Australia's economic performance has dropped to its lowest level since the global financial crisis, a recent survey shows.

The 2011 edition of the Global Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index has ranked Australia seventh out of 80 participating countries, behind the United States, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland and Japan.

Six new members have been appointed to the Takeovers Panel, which provides a mechanism for peer review of takeovers activity.

The Australian Government is to hold a Tax Forum at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday October 4 and Wednesday October 5, to be attended by around 150 representatives of community groups, businesses, unions, and governments, as well as academics and tax practitioners.

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