Australia’s fintech industry has welcomed reduced barriers for banking licenses and digital currency tax cuts in this year’s federal Budget.
FinTech Australia boss Danielle Szetho praised Treasurer Scott Morrison for what she said was a Budget that delivered a detailed new statement about how he will create competition and accountability in Australia’s banking system.
She praised open financial data reforms, reduced barriers for banking licences, an expanded regulatory sandbox and digital currency tax cuts, and said her organisation would work with the government to deliver them.
“We welcome these initiatives — they’re a huge step forward when it comes to growing a globally competitive Australian fintech industry, that will also deliver greater choice and improved financial outcomes for consumers,” Ms Szetho said.
“We’re also proud that many of these initiatives have come about through the strong and detailed advocacy work undertaken by FinTech Australia and its members.”
The budget includes a release of draft legislation to extend the government’s crowdsourced equity funding framework from public companies to private companies, which Ms Szetho said should help small businesses to better access equity to grow via innovative fintech platforms.
New as well is a decision to ensure people using digital currencies, such as bitcoin, do not have to pay GST on the use of the currency itself — which until now was a form of ‘double taxation’ and impeded the growth of Australia’s digital currency industry.
“It is pleasing to see that the government has clearly used the budget to reaffirm its commitment to Australia’s fintech industry, and sees this industry as a driver of increased consumer choice and jobs growth in financial services,” Ms Szetho said.
“We now welcome the speedy implementation of these initiatives, given that Australia is in an extremely competitive and fast-moving global environment when it comes to establishing a regional fintech advantage.”
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