By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser
The Australian Government has released its responses to the industry’s priorities for fintech development which it has called “Backing Australian FinTech”. As well as affirming existing commitments, such as introducing a crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF) framework and an incubator support programme, the paper includes a number of initiatives that the Government proposes to undertake. New developments include:
- introduction of an entrepreneur visa in November 2016 for foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party;
- possibly increasing the asset and turnover eligibility threshold for CSEF to A$25 million and reducing cooling off periods for investors to 48 hours;
- consultation on a potential framework for crowd sourced debt funding;
- increasing the maximum fund size of Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLPs) to A$200 million and providing a 10% tax offset on capital invested;
- introduction of a mechanism to allow Innovation Australia to issue binding advice in relation to the definition of ineligible activities for ESVCLPs;
- Productivity Commission inquiry into options for improving access to comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) data;
- a regulatory guide for robo-advice providers;
- possibly allowing licensed insurance brokers to sell insurance policies from unauthorised foreign insurers where they offer consumers a better price and appropriate consumer protection;
- possibly applying anti-money laundering laws to digital currencies;
- a commitment to address the ‘double taxation’ of using digital currency to purchase goods already subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST);
- establishment of a new Cyber Security Growth Centre; and
- a ‘regulatory sandbox’ in Australia to allow FinTech start-ups to test their products and business models.
Backing Australian FinTech indicates that 2016 will be a busy year for fintech regulation in Australia.
Read Backing Australian FinTech here.