News Pulse for October 7, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

IMF warns on Australia’s risky debt binge

The International Monetary Fund has warned that Australian households are on a potentially dangerous debt binge in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The wakeup call comes as the IMF puts global public and private debt levels at $US152 trillion ($199 trillion), putting some advanced economies now at greater risk in the event of another crisis.

Westpac, NAB chiefs warn against tougher rules for bank execs

National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn has dismissed fears of a housing bubble and railed against any new rules that would hold individual senior executives to greater account for customer service failings.

At the end of a week of hearings for the big banks that trawled through repeated scandals, Westpac chief Brian Hartzer argued against legislation similar to Britain’s new regime, which takes a tougher line on senior executives’ pay and punishment when staff below them stray.

Banking inquiry: What have we learnt and where to from here?

The banking inquiry has laid bare a litany of examples of bad behaviour, with each of the big four plagued by their own separate scandals.

But we’ve actually learnt very little this week.

We heard of numerous incidents involving many tens of millions of dollars in “errors” , unscrupulous financial advice , forged documents and a number of examples of “rockets and feathers” (interest rates shooting up like rockets when the RBAReserve Bank of Australia www.rba.gov.au raises the official rate and falling slowly, like feathers, when the cash rate falls).

Banking inquiry: Westpac becomes latest of big four to say sorry

Westpac has acknowledged a “trust gap” has opened up between banks and customers, during its appearance before a parliamentary inquiry.

The bank is the last of the big four to face the committee, and so far all have issued apologies but rejected the assertion they have a widespread cultural problem within their institutions.

Melbourne lures fast growing Silicon Valley businesses

W hen one of the founders of a big US tech start-up recently opened an office in Victoria he was asked by a journalist why he chose Melbourne: “Cos Sydney’s shite,” he replied.

It’s a story the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his popular Innovation Minister Philip Dalidakis relish repeating as they spruik the state’s credentials in the battle to claim the title as Australia’s savviest state.

Aussie’s start-up Nugit raises $6.8m from Sequoia to automate marketing with AI

Australian tech entrepreneur David Sanderson has raised $US5.2 million ($6.8 million) from the Indian arm of Silicon Valley heavyweight Sequoia Capital, to dramatically ramp up research and development at Nugit, a start-up promising to use artificial intelligence-style technology to automate marketing jobs.

Nugit is based in Singapore and has already snared an impressive array of global clients, including Facebook, Johnson & Johnson and advertising giant GroupM for its software, which pores over mountains of data in order to aid marketers in making decisions about campaigns.

Australian drone startup Flirtey beats Amazon and Google in home delivery race

More than two years ago, Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos spoke on  60 Minutes  about delivering goods to homes with unmanned aircraft, or drones.

But a little Australian start-up  now based near Reno , Nevada, has beat Amazon to the punch.

Melbourne startup Punters.com.au acquired by News Corp Australia

Melbourne-based startup Punters.com.au has been sold to News Corp Australia for an undisclosed sum.

Chief executive Luc Pettett told SmartCompany the digital racing site decided to close the deal after News Corp demonstrated knowledge of the space, and says the company has a good understanding of how to grow a digital brand.

TwoSpace turns closed restaurants into start-up co-working spaces

In a bid to foster new and deeper connections among Australia’s entrepreneurs and the wider community, new start-up TwoSpace will next week launch a platform allowing nomadic workers to make a temporary, comfortable home in the cosy environs of inner-city restaurants — whose doors are normally closed during office hours.

The idea came about when founders Tashi Dorjee and Rob Walker recalled a unique establishment in Singapore — where they both worked in 2013 — which would transform from an understated daytime cafe into a swinging nighttime pizza parlour. The venue was called TwoFace.

WA under pressure as tech talent moves east

Technology entrepreneurs say Western Australia needs to be more aggressive attracting new businesses to the state because it is losing out in a war for talent.

The executive director of West Australian start-up ResApp Health, a $250 million ASX-listed telehealth company developing technology that can diagnose respiratory illnesses via a smartphone, says capital is flowing out of WA because efforts to attract talent to the state have been lacking.

expensemanager and MYOB join up for automated expenses and invoices

expensemanager Software Pty Ltd, the innovative Australian cloud expense and invoice management software provider announced today they now integrate directly to MYOB Advanced, a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed for bigger businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

“This integration delivers a one-click integration from expensemanager to MYOB Advanced customers, meaning accounts payable staff no longer have to manually re-key in expense or invoice data.  said Sharon Nouh, CEO and Founder of expensemanager.

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