News Pulse for February 12, 2018

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

Open banking a blueprint for a new data economy

Senior Treasury officials say the “open banking” report by King & Wood Mallesons partner Scott Farrell is one of the best policy documents they have ever seen produced by a professional in the private sector. It needed to be, given its implications.

Open banking will empower a customer to direct their bank to send their data to another provider. It promises to level the competitive playing field by reducing the costs of account switching and facilitating price discovery.

Revolt brewing over payday laws

IRATE backbenchers have revolted over Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer’s tough payday lending draft laws and have successfully enlisted Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 to reverse Cabinet’s support of the Bill.

As the Turnbull Government desperately searches for a circuit breaker from Barnaby Joyce’s sex scandal, frustrations have spilt over against Ms O’Dwyer’s original handling of new laws targeting payday lenders and rent-to-buy businesses, with backbenchers complaining to the Prime Minister.

A bloc of about 20 backbenchers, including several in Queensland, are warning Ms O’Dwyer’s reforms will send some businesses broke and are an affront to Liberal values.

Banks told how much of their data can be opened

Transformed data allowed to stay in-house.

Banks will be obliged to reveal consumer data about 27 deposit and lending products under planned open banking laws, but will not have to share data they have transformed for analysis purposes.

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 today released a 158-page review of how an open banking scheme could look in Australia.

SMBs lack confidence in delivery of NBN within two years

Many Australian small businesses are not confident in the government’s ability to deliver the national broadband network within the next two years as promised. And to compound their lack of confidence, SMBs are worried about being left behind in today’s digital economy race as a result of slow Internet speeds.

According to a newly published survey from software accounting firm Reckon (ASX:RKN), 54% of SMBs think they might be left behind as the digital economy develops – with a whopping 83% lacking confidence in delivery of the NBN.

Report: All green for Open Banking

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 says the government’s planned ‘open banking’ regulatory regime would give customers greater access and control of their data and would “revolutionise” the financial services sector.

People would soon have the right to take their data from one financial institution or FinTech to another when they change providers, easily and seamlessly, much like a customer can take their telephone number with when they change telco.

Australia Pursue Open Banking as Consumers Regain Control of their Data | Crowdfund Insider

Last July, Australia commissioned a review of Open Banking seeking recommendations as to how to best pursue this policy shift in Australia. Commissioned by Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15, MP and chaired by Scott Farrell, the Australian government has now published a report that makes 50 recommendations.

Open Banking is a transformational shift in both control and access to financial services data. In the past, most financial firms took individuals information for granted. Open Banking seeks to give customers greater access to and control over their banking data and will transform the way in which customers use and benefit financial services.

Turnbull government refuses changes to foreign worker levy

A Coalition-dominated Senate committee has rejected business claims that a new tax forecast to raise $1.2 billion for skills training from employers of visa workers is unsustainable due to the government’s new visa restrictions.

The committee’s report on Friday recommended the Senate pass the Turnbull government’s migration levy, proposed in the May budget to come into effect from March, and rejected calls to guarantee the forecast funding.

Australian Open Banking Review Released | Lexology

The Australian Government has released the Report of the Review into Open Banking . The Treasurer’s speech can be found here and the media release here . The Review provides advice on the design and implementation of Australia’s Open Banking system. It is the first stage in a broader consumer data right which is to include other sectors including energy and telecommunications. I was appointed to lead the Review in July 2017.

Open Banking would give customers a right to direct that the information they already share with their bank be safely shared with others they trust. It is designed to give customers more access to, and control over, their information, leading to more choice in their banking and more convenience in managing their money, and resulting in more confidence in the use and value of an asset mostly undiscovered by customers – their data.

‘Realising our year of opportunity through lower taxes and more open and competitive banking’, address to the Citibank A50 Australian Economic Forum, Sydney | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

2018 is a great year of economic opportunity for Australia, for Australian businesses, and for investments in Australia.

In the past 12 months, the Australian economy has delivered solid growth, entering its 27th year of uninterrupted economic expansion, while diversifying its base as the non-mining economy continues to strengthen.

Open data lets fintechs compete

The fintech community has welcomed the Turnbull government’s commitment to implement an open banking regime, saying it will enable local companies to compete more vigorously against the global “digital juggernauts”.

FinTech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan said news that the government would legislate to enable customers to access their own banking data would be key to providing customers with greater choice, an improved understanding of their financial position and more control over their financial future.

Review into Open Banking – giving consumers choice | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Today I am pleased to release the Report of the Review into Open Banking, which will guide the Turnbull Government’s approach to giving consumers greater access to and control of their data, as announced in the 2017 Budget.

The Report makes recommendations on the most appropriate model for implementing Open Banking in Australia.

Digital rights groups call for government to back away from encryption crackdown

Australian digital rights organisations have called for the data retention scheme to be suspended and for the government to back away from any move to undermine the use of encryption.

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Law Enforcement (PJCLE) is currently staging an inquiry into the impact of new and emerging information and communications technology on Australian law enforcement agencies.

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