News Pulse for November 25, 2016

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

Banks, consumer groups critical of bank inquiry recommendations

It was supposed to be Prime Minister Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15’s best shot at hosing down calls for a royal commission but a parliamentary inquiry into the banks has run into trouble almost immediately with the sector and consumer groups alike panning its first report.

Banks say a plan to name and shame employees who break the rules within five days after their breach is “unrealistic” and have hosed down support for a banking tribunal.

Bank rule-breakers should be named and shamed, but Labor and Greens push for royal commission

Bank employees who break the rules would be publicly named and shamed within five days under a radical proposal advanced by a parliamentary committee examining the big four banks.

And to further protect customers, the banking inquiry report has suggested a series of other changes that would make it easier for new banks to be started, see an already-promised Banking and Financial Sector Tribunal established by July 1, 2017 and see the competition regulator tasked with examining competition rules in the sector every six months.

Government introduces new equity crowdfunding laws

New rules open up the market to ‘mum and dad’ retail investors.

The federal government has introduced legislation that will allow ordinary ‘mum and dad investors’ to invest in small businesses and tech startups using crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) platforms in Australia.

Crowdfunding platforms allow people to pledge money to a particular business or project, in exchange for some benefit if the fundraising campaign meets its target and the product successfully launches.

New crowd-funding bill faces delay

The government’s rejigged equity crowd-funding legislation potentially faces a lengthy delay as industry players say the bill’s latest iteration has failed to remedy the problems plaguing its predecessor.

The Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Husic told The Australian that while he’s had constructive recent discussions with the Treasurer’s office, including winning changes that lift the assets and turnover limits, he had serious concerns with the bill.

Five reasons to tap into the freelance economy

Whether you call it the ‘sharing’, ‘gig’, ‘freelance’ or ‘on demand’ economy, the way we work and hire has changed significantly in the past few years. Now, 30% of Australians are undertaking some form of flexible freelance work.

Over in the US, around 35% of the workforce is now considered ‘contingent’, with that number estimated to reach as much as 50% by 2020. By the same year, revenues from the gig economy are expected to grow by over 300% , increasing from US $6.4B to US $20B.

Purpose-driven startup enters running for $1.4 million as dozens of socially driven founders get recognition

It has been an exciting week for impact-driven startups with several founders around the country scoring great opportunities to bring their ventures to the world including a chance to win more than $1 million.

Code the Future, an edtech startup that hopes to transform young people from tech consumers to creators, took out the Innovator of the Year award at PwC’s 21st Century Minds Accelerator.

Australian Industry Group National Executive Dinner

The Australian economy grew 3.3 per cent in the last year and our unemployment rate is just 5.6 per cent.  Australia is ranked 13 th out of 189 countries for ease of doing business as measured by the World Bank and OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  But we cannot rest on our laurels given the economic challenges we face.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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