News Pulse for June 7, 2018

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

These laws will force tech companies to hand over encrypted data — but the details are secret

New laws to force the nation’s telecommunications companies and multinational tech giants to help law enforcement agencies access the encrypted data of suspected criminals and terrorists will be released in weeks.

But Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor is reluctant to discuss exactly how the new powers would work, or whether the proposal would allow the embedding of surveillance codes in mobile devices.

Five types of small business conflicts raised by the banking royal commission

The second round of hearings from the royal commission into financial services confirmed what many have previously told SmartCompany: once a decision has been made by a big bank, most SME owners have little power to dispute the issue.

When senior assistant counsel Michael Hodge QC wrapped up proceedings at the end of last week, the prospect of putting more red tape on bank lending processes seemed unlikely.

Prospa float postponed by ASIC probe

Small business lender Prospa says it has taken a conservative approach in delaying its $576 million ASX float by two days, in order to respond to renewed concerns from the corporate regulator that its standard form contracts may contain unfair clauses in breach of consumer laws.

“We take our legal and regulatory obligations very seriously. We’ve taken a prudent approach to defer the listing for 48 hours so we can engage with the regulator transparently and openly,” a Prospa spokesperson said on Wednesday, after it announced the float had been postponed just 15 minutes before its co-founders were due to ring the ASX bell.

Xero could be about to surge past MYOB in the cloud wars

Cloud accountancy software player Xero is expected to emerge the winner against older competitor MYOB in Australia, according to analysis by Morgan Stanley.

Analysts at the investment bank forecast Xero’s ANZ market share to move from 45% of paying subscribers today to more than 60% by 2021, underpinning the company’s s above-industry 30% revenue growth over the next three years.

ALP ridiculed on tax gender bias

Labor’s new political battle against the government’s income tax cuts — claiming gender bias because men will benefit more than women — has been dismissed by Treasury, ridiculed by leading business figures and ­blasted by Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 as “nonsense”.

Treasury deputy secretary Maryanne Mrakovcic told the Senate’s economics committee yesterday her department had not undertaken a gender analysis of the tax cuts because “we do ­actually see the tax system as ­gender-neutral”.

Xero is looking like a better bet than MYOB, says Morgan Stanley

Cloud accountancy software player Xero is expected to emerge the winner against older competitor MYOB in Australia, according to analysis by Morgan Stanley.

Analysts at the investment bank forecast Xero’s ANZ market share to move from 45 per cent of paying subscribers today to more than 60 per cent by 2021, underpinning the company’s above-industry 30 per cent revenue growth over the next three years.

Prospa delay haunts fintechs

Small-business lender Prospa’s $146 million ASX listing has been temporarily shelved by what it claims is a last-minute regulatory intervention, with the fintech ending up as collateral damage in the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s push to clean up the small-business lending market.

Prospa — which is part-funded by Square Peg, the investment fund founded by former Seek boss Paul Bassat — has had to hold fire on its much-anticipated IPO until tomorrow as it seeks to clarify the questions posed by the corporate regulator on its loan terms. Its decision to postpone the listing came just 15 minutes before the stock was set to hit the market.

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