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Former CBA chief to head 'Son of Wallis'

The federal government has appointed a former Commonwealth Bank chief executive to chair the so-called ‘Son of Wallis’ inquiry into the Australian financial system.

In a joint announcement last night, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the inquiry will be chaired by David Murray, former CBA CEO and Future Fund chair.

Mr Murray will head a committee of “four eminent Australians drawn from the finance, business and academic sectors”, according to the statement.

Treasury has also released its draft terms of reference for the inquiry, which aims to be “consistent with financial stability, prudence, integrity and fairness”.

The draft terms of reference state the inquiry will report on the developments in the Australian financial system since the 1997 Wallis inquiry, including: how Australia funds its growth; domestic competition and international competitiveness; and the cost, safety and availability of financial services and products for end users.

The inquiry will also look to “refresh” the philosophy and principles underpinning the financial system, and identify emerging opportunities and challenges.

According to the draft terms of reference, the inquiry will look to promote policies that promote the efficient allocation of capital and cost-efficient access and services for users; support individuals and businesses to be reasonably able to manage their finances by understanding risks and rewards in the financial sector; and foster dynamic and innovative financial service providers.

The inquiry will also examine the extent to which both regulation and taxation “impinge on the efficiency and effective allocation of capital within the financial system”.