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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Australian government has announced steps it is taking to help boost the country’s growing Financial Technologies (or ‘FinTech’) sector, focused on modernizing the regulation and taxation of new technologies.
In addition, the government has apparently been working with ASIC on the development of a ‘regulatory sandbox’ for Australian FinTech. The Government is keen to develop a world leading ‘regulatory sandbox’ in Australia that will enable firms to manage regulatory risks during testing stages, reducing the cost and time to market products. At the same time, any ‘sandbox’ will need to provide for important consumer outcomes such as fit and proper checks, dispute resolution and consumer redress arrangements.
Australia’s domestic FinTech sector, and its use of processes such as Equity Crowdfunding and technologies such as Blockchain, has been growing in size and importance in large part because of Australia’s position as a banking and financial sector for the Far East region at large. In the Forex trading space in particular, Australia is used as a base by many leading international online brokers for serving and attracting clients from China and other large regional countries.
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison outlined details of The Turnbull Government’s statement on Australia’s FinTech future, recognizing that FinTech is transforming Australia’s financial system and economy.
The Australia Government’s actions to support the FinTech industry and new technologies include:
- Ensuring access to concessional tax treatment for venture capital investments in start-up FinTech firms,
- Taking action to address the double taxation of digital currencies which exists today in Australia,
- Allow all companies regardless of assets and turnover to be eligible for Equity Crowdfunding;
- Review Australian Market Licence (AML) requirements for crowdfunding intermediaries.
The Government will consult with the industry on the next phase of Australia’s crowdfunding framework to ensure that the broader economy and wider business community can gain appropriate access to new and alternative equity funding options.
The Government also announced today, together with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the release of new guidance notes for ‘robo-advice’, or digital financial product advice, to provide greater clarity to new providers of this advice to Australian consumers.
ASIC has also released guidance to assist providers of marketplace (also known as ‘peer-to-peer’) lending products, including information about legal obligations.
You can read the Government’s official statement on FinTech here.