The Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology began its first public hearings in Melbourne today.
Committee Chairman Senator Andrew Bragg welcomed witnesses from nine companies after having received more than 130 submissions. Today’s hearings included a new Australian unicorn Airwallex.
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.
“The Hayne Royal Commission showed Australians need more choice and competition in financial services, and FinTech is that bridge.”
“We want to strike the right balance between innovation and consumer protection”, Senator Bragg said.
“We are approaching the inquiry through five big buckets, and they are regulation, culture, capital, skills and tax”, he said.
Senator Bragg said four key issues clearly emerged from the evidence in Melbourne. “Those issues include getting more capital into startups and FinTech/ RegTechs; open banking and open superannuation; tax policy; regulatory culture; collaboration between large and small businesses and Commonwealth procurement,” he said.
“Thematically, the evidence is clear that technology is a jobs winner, not a jobs loser. We want to open the pathways to create more jobs and deliver more choices for consumers”.
“We are open to all ideas that can bring innovation to the market and make Australia more competitive, the Senator Bragg said.
The committee will conduct more public hearings before delivering an interim report in March. Senator Bragg is available for interview.