Embracing technology for more jobs and consumer choice

Chair - Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology

I am delighted to be Chairing the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology because it goes to the heart of two things I care about – jobs and choice.

Financial Technology does not cost jobs, it creates jobs.

Australian jobs rely on our ability to innovate.

And I believe we need to open the pathways to Australian innovation.

I also want Australians to have more choice, especially when it comes to banking, superannuation and telcos.

The Committee is tasked with investigating the size and scope of opportunity for Australian consumers and business arising from FinTech and RegTech, and barriers to the uptake of new technologies in the financial sector.

So far the Committee has received more than 200 submissions with valuable insights into how Australia can do it smarter, and prosper in this space.

Already we’ve heard from dozens of witnesses in our public hearings in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra – and certain themes are emerging.

A big focus has been on the competitive landscape in financial services.  We must consider whether we need a stronger competition mandate for regulators.

We have taken on board concerns about anti-competitive behaviour in financial services in relation to open banking; digital data capture and buy now pay later schemes.

I want Australian start-ups to succeed. I want to see more Australian start-ups follow in the footsteps of Atlassian, Afterpay and Airtasker.  These are success stories at home and abroad providing millions of customers with great products and thousands of Australian jobs.

I want to examine whether some of our laws are out of date for today’s new digital world and whether they are fit for purpose.

We are looking at five big buckets on how to promote this growth and prosperity: capital and funding, tax, skills and talent, culture and regulation.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis the committee has been extended by six months to May 2021.

The charter of this inquiry is simple yet ambitious – to make Australia globally competitive with nations which have nailed technology for job creation: Singapore, Israel and the United States.

I stress the inquiry is not about politics– it is about creating a more dynamic, competitive economy for everyone.

And that is all about creating jobs.


Interim Report Tabled 2 September 2020 - Click to Read


Media Coverage

 

 

Bragg committee calls for new data agency, competition focus

"We want to bed down a sense that competition is good, that competition will come from small start-ups, and we don't want to see it nobbled by regulators," Senator Bragg told The Australian Financial Review.

Fintech competition is key to a better finance sector

As McKinsey says: "Most jobs created by technology are outside the technology-producing sector itself. We estimate that the introduction of the personal computer, for instance, has enabled the creation of 15.8 million net new jobs in the United States since 1980, even after accounting for jobs displaced."

Fintech inquiry warns against 'one size fits all' regulation

Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size A Senate inquiry says it should be up to Parliament, not regulators, to set policy for new financial products such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, which don't fit easily into existing policy frameworks Amid ongoing investor debate about whether BNPL market darlings such as Afterpay and Zip Co will face tougher regulation, the inquiry chaired by NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg on Wednesday said it was inappropriate to "force each innovation into a one size fits all approach."

Wage underpayment: inquiry urges payroll solution to industrial relations 'complexity'

The federal government should promote payroll software to boost small and medium businesses' compliance with complex industrial awards setting pay, the financial technology and regulatory technology inquiry has concluded. The Senate committee's report, tabled on Wednesday, lends weight to a push from small and family business ombudsman Kate Carnell to use industrial relations reforms to boost uptake of payroll solutions to underpayment, including the possibility of "safe harbour" from prosecution.

Inquiry calls for telehealth extension

Medicare telehealth items should be made permanent beyond the coronavirus pandemic period, a parliamentary committee says. A cross-party committee looking at...

Let companies like Afterpay stay unregulated, says Senate inquiry into fintech

Consumers don't need to have legal protections when they use "buy now, pay later" services like Afterpay and Zip, because those companies can just self-regulate, according to a Senate inquiry into fintech.