Australia's new national Centre for International Finance and Regulation could play a key role in preventing another global financial crisis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales Professor Fred Hilmer said today. The $41 million centre will be hosted by UNSW.

The Federal Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, and the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, announced today that a consortium of leading Australian and international universities, research and development centres and financial institutions, led by UNSW, has been selected to form the new Centre.

The Centre will assist government, regulators and industry to meet emerging challenges and opportunities in the field of global finance. It will link and support international policy makers, regulators, industry and academia to anticipate, prevent or contain future financial disruptions.

Mr John Trowbridge, who recently completed a four-year term as one of three government-appointed executive members of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), will be appointed as the Centre's interim Director.

The Federal Government has committed $12.1 million over four years to establish the Centre, with the NSW Government providing an additional $6 million. A further $6 million has come from corporate sources and universities. The Centre will also receive $17.5 million of in-kind support from partner institutions including New York University, and further funding is expected to be provided as the Centre develops.

Professor Hilmer said: "We are delighted that such a strong consortium has been selected for this important Centre. We have been particularly pleased to work with the new NSW Government, through the Innovation Council, to secure collaboration between the four Sydney universities recognised for the strength of their research in this area.

"The rigour of the world's financial regulatory systems and the governance and policy frameworks underpinning them are critical to the health of the global economy. A major goal of the Centre will be to help prevent a repeat of the GFC, which to a great extent was caused by a lack of financial regulatory integrity.

"The Centre will enhance Australia's reputation as an international leader in innovative financial market developments and regulatory and policy responses, and as an effective manager of market risk. It will also contribute to the further development of Australia as a regional financial services hub," Professor Hilmer said.

The new Centre will bring together some of the world's leading experts on finance and regulation. Foundation partners are:

The Centre, to be located at UNSW's CBD campus, will also play an educative and consensus-building role, combining world-class discovery and collaborative research with effective outreach.

UNSW's leading role in the Centre will see academics from both its Law Faculty and the Australian School of Business involved in a number of research projects.

Media contact: UNSW Director of Communications Judy Brookman, (02) 9385 3249 or mobile 0421 061 251