News Pulse for November 17, 2017

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

Digitising commercial loans: Leading lenders make the shift

Electronic lodgement of commercial loan applications is on track to become the industry norm in the future, forecasts NextGen.Net sales director Tony Carn.

“It’s inevitable,” he maintains.

“We’re in a transition period, with some people still saying commercial loans are too complex to digitise. But that attitude is changing fast. In some respects we’re where we were 14 years ago with residential mortgages, with the early adopters benefiting from being forward-thinking.

The gender pay gap has narrowed … to $26,527 per year

The pay gap between men and women is narrowing — but the blokes’ club still rules when it comes to striking juicier salary deals, according to the latest gender equality scorecard out today.

While the overall gender pay gap is trending down, men still earn more than women by an average of $26,527 per year in every industry and occupation.

NAB sacks 20 bankers for selling ‘liar’ home loans

National Australia Bank (NAB) has sacked 20 bankers and disciplined another 32 over the selling of mortgages without accurate customer information and documentation.

Following an extensive review of its mortgage book, NAB said it had identified about 2,300 home loans sold since 2013 that were likely to contain inaccurate information.

‘Two extremes’ facing business, says Kochie

TV host and finance expert David Koch has shared some insights into the diverging pressures that are dividing SMEs between the high-growth and the struggling.

“It’s two extremes at the moment – I don’t think there’s been a more challenging time for small business and a time where small business owners are being challenged so much and under so much pressure,” said Sunrise host and business owner David Koch.

Abetz remains voice for minority

TASMANIAN Liberal Senator Eric Abetz is seeking amendments to same-sex marriage legislation which would allow a florist to refuse to provide services to the wedding of a gay couple.

The key “no” campaigner is also seeking to protect parental rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and conscientious objection as outlined in a proposal in a since withdrawn Bill by Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson.

Melbourne courier businesses fined $72,000 for sham contracting: Airtasker’s Tim Fung says more scrutiny coming on gig economy workers 

A recent court action brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman against a courier business has prompted warnings from both startup founders and legal experts that further crackdowns could be incoming for companies in the “gig economy”.

On October 31, the Federal Circuit court passed down more than $70,000 in penalties against two companies operating a bike courier service in Melbourne due to deliberate “sham contracting”, where they were found to have categorised a worker as a contractor when they were actually an employee.

Reckon sells ‘crown jewel’ of the business to MYOB in $180 million deal

The chief executive of Reckon admits he has lost the “jewel in the crown” of the company by selling its accounting practice software unit to rival MYOB for $180 million.

The deal, if approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission, will result in MYOB buying three Reckon product lines – Reckon APS, Reckon Elite and Reckon Docs. Accounting groups use these produces to run their practices.

10 Australian startups just made the global Fintech100

Ten Australian tech companies have made the annual Fintech100 list for 2017, while China took out the three top spots.

The honour roll of the best fintechs around the world, compiled by KPMG and Australian venture capital firm H2 Ventures, consists of a top 50 ranked list and an unranked list of 50 “emerging stars” startups.ime.

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

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