News Pulse for January 10, 2018

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

Small business rates reprieve

The interest burden on the nation’s small businesses has eased, costing the community $9 billion a year less than it did in 2011.

“One of the most competitive business loan markets we’ve ever seen has been a major driver in these low interest rates and has resulted in more money going back into the pocket of small business owners,” the Australian Bankers’ Association chief economist Tony Pearson told The Australian .

Doubts over $1bn Canva’s finances

Directors of Australia’s newest member of the $1 billion “unicorn” club, Canva, have raised concerns about whether the company is a going concern.

Accounts filed by Canva’s Australian arm for the year to the end of June last year show that current liabilities — amounts due and payable in the 12 months following the balance date — outweighed current assets by almost $16.5 million and it was relying on the financial support of its US parent.

PC push for open data in banking

The Productivity Commission will use its upcoming review of competition in the financial sector to maintain pressure on the Turnbull government to launch one of the world’s first open-data financial systems.

The commission’s review of competition in the financial system follows its recent review of the availability and use of data in the economy, which urged the government to allow consumers to trade their customer data so companies can offer better deals.

Apps new ‘battleground’ for banks: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley says banks will “prune” their branches into sales centres, and ramp up app technology to take advantage of the multi-billion dollars in savings available from the mobile banking explosion.

In new research by analyst Betsy Grasek, the investment bank’s New York-based head of banks and diversified financials research, said there was a $US60 billion opportunity for banks across the globe to improve their net expense efficiencies by 2022.

Loan rates a boon for business

SMALL businesses are saving thousands of dollars as interest rates on their loans fall to the lowest level in more than two decades.

An analysis of Reserve Bank data by the Australian Bankers’ Association shows small businesses will avoid almost $9 billion in extra payments this year compared to 2011, as average interest rates on business loans fell from 8.4 per cent to 5.3 per cent .

Sydney’s ‘Silicon Place’

Canva, a Sydney-based graphic design start-up, has become Australia’s latest tech “unicorn”, after closing a funding round valuing its operations at $US1 billion ($1.3 billion).

The company on Tuesday announced it had raised $US40 million from investors including the Chinese arm of vaunted Silicon Valley investment firm Sequoia Capital and existing shareholders Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.

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