News Pulse for August 9, 2017

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

Progress made towards a fairer distribution of power between small and big businesses

When small businesses engage with large enterprises, standard form contracts often leave them with no room to negotiate. Small businesses are left with the choice of either accepting terms heavily weighted against them, or terminating a deal that would be valuable for their business.

To protect small businesses from backing into a corner, the unfair contracts laws were introduced in November 2016, prohibiting unfair contract terms in small business standard form contracts.

Fundies refuse to be silenced by banks over BEAR

Retail superannuation funds, fund managers and insurers have stood up to significant pressure from the major banks’ wealth arms, which wanted them to stay silent rather than object to the banks’ call for new rules over executive behaviour to be extended to the most of the financial services sector.

The Australian Bankers’ Association argued in a submission sent to Treasury last week that the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), a key measure introduced in the May budget to improve bank culture, should be extended to insurance companies and superannuation funds because banks should compete on a level regulatory playing field.

Time ripe for broader banking inquiry: ALP

Federal Labor plans to widen its promised banking royal commission to include financial regulators if it wins government, but Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 says all it would do is encourage a “lawyers’ picnic”.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen believes the scale of industry change since David Murray’s 2014 financial systems inquiry warrants another stocktake.

CBA accused of breaching money laundering act

Commonwealth Bank says a string of failures in its automated reporting system may be only one breach of the law, which would mean any fine facing the bank over allegations it broke anti-money laundering laws would be drastically lower than speculated.

It came as chief executive Ian Narev said the board of directors would take “very serious account” of the latest scandal to hit the bank when it was deciding on executive bonuses for the year, in board meetings on Monday.

CBA execs lose short-term bonus

The Commonwealth Bank is getting better at crisis management. Plenty of practice can do that for you.

The board is no longer in complete denial, as it was through the Storm Financial and inhouse financial planning scandals.

Palaszczuk Government’s Accelerate grants fast-track small business success

Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch today (Tuesday) announced 19 Queensland small businesses will share more than $185,000 under the PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government’s Accelerate Small Business Grants Program.

Ms Enoch said more than $477,000 in Accelerate Small Business Grant funding has now been allocated to 53 Queensland small businesses since October.

Pressure on payment bullies

A COMPANY that threatens or intimidates someone seeking payment for work faces a fine of up to $250,000 under legislation to be introduced to State Parliament this week.

A person guilty of the same charge faces fines of up to $50,000, or two years in jail.

Millions of Australian domain name owners ‘ripped off’

Domain name owners  say the owners of Australia’s more than three million domain names are being ripped off by the organisation governing domain names.

The .au Domain Administration Authority  is the body that governs and distributes all .au domain names which includes .com.au and .net.au and domain name users claim as a result of auDA’s actions the wholesale price paid for domain names is about double what it should be.

ASX-listed fintech zipMoney raises $40 million from Westpac: Are the big four banks ready to embrace startups in the sector?

Sydney-based payments platform zipMoney has secured $40 million in investment from Westpac in a move that signals a readiness for the big four Australian banks to embrace fintech startups, according to zipMoney co-founder and chief Larry Diamond and banking industry analyst Neil Slonim.

ZipMoney  listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2015 , raising $5 million through a reverse takeover of Rubianna Resources to boost the market share of its payment services, which include online consumer financing through point-of-sale credit and digital payments.

Could Xinja be Australia’s first neobank? 

Banking startup Xinja is built solely for mobile and will target tech-savvy consumers. Fintech startup Xinja is on track to becoming Australia’s first neobank, otherwise known as a challenger bank, and has already raised close to $3 million this year. The funding will help launch 5,000 prepaid debit cards to customers before expanding its product offering to bank accounts and mortgages.

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