Barriers to competition in the financial sector was the dominant theme in the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology public hearings in Sydney today.
The Committee heard that start-up companies, such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) schemes can be hamstrung by outdated laws or regulatory practices.
Witnesses to the inquiry included Australian success story Afterpay, the Australian Securities Exchange, the Business Council of Australia, Finder and Brighte.
“We’ve had a great reaction to our Sydney hearings - there’s been a big focus on ensuring innovation, new ideas and new products aren’t hobbled by old regulation and rigid thinking,” Committee Chair Senator Andrew Bragg said today.
“Buy now pay later schemes are a classic case of new ideas which threaten the incumbents which Royal Commissioner Ken Hayne said weren’t doing a particularly good job. We should always look to bring new competition to market, not kill it!” Senator Bragg said.
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.
“Striking the right balance between innovation and consumer protection is essential.” Senator Bragg said.
“The core infrastructure our government has established like the Consumer Data Right will provide the basis for competition across the economy - the next stop should be super; a sector badly in need of competitive pressure.”
The committee will conduct more public hearings in Canberra next week before delivering an interim report in March.
Senator Bragg is available for interview.
Media: John Mangos | 0401 392 624