The Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology conducted further public hearings in Sydney today.
Committee Chairman Senator Andrew Bragg welcomed witnesses from fourteen companies after having received more than 130 submissions.
Today’s hearings included Zip, ANZ bank, innovation hub Stone and Chalk and StartUpAus.
Senator Bragg noted the competitive landscape in financial services was widely discussed.
“Does there need to be a stronger competition mandate for regulators? The Committee has heard concerns about anti-competitive behaviour in financial services in relation to open banking, digital data capture and buy now pay later schemes,” he 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.
For many startups, getting on the books of a large business or the government is essential for success.
“We want to know if there’s a way to improve collaboration between large and small businesses and the Commonwealth and startups through procurement,” Senator Bragg said.
Equally, attracting capital is essential to get startups off the ground. The vehicles established under the National Innovation & Science Agenda have featured heavily in submissions.
“Are there refinements which could be made to the Early Stage Innovation Company (ESIC) and Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) structures to promote investment?”
“Is Australia organised to be a FinTech leader in our region? Have we organized our regulators to ensure we can capture the best ideas and people? Is it easy to set up shop in Australia?” he said.
“The Hayne Royal Commission showed Australians need more choice and competition in financial services and FinTech is that bridge.”
Striking the right balance between innovation and consumer protection is essential.
The committee will conduct more public hearings before delivering an interim report in March.
Senator Bragg is available for interview.