News Pulse for February 9, 2018

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

SMEs reveal wish list for this year’s federal budget

A third of SMEs have suggested government policies will be the biggest impact on their business in 2018, meaning this year’s federal budget could be a make or break for many operators.

According to a national survey of 1,150 business owners by accounting provider Reckon, the three major challenges facing SMEs, in order, are declining customer demand, government policies and cash flow fuelled by the lack of late payments legislation.

Delivering Australians a better deal on their loans | The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Turnbull Government is continuing to act on delivering a better deal for bank customers – today releasing exposure draft legislation to mandate a comprehensive credit reporting regime.

This Bill is a game changer for consumers – leading to better deals on mortgages, personal loans and small businesses loans.

Big banks waive rights to sue staff and victims who give evidence at royal commission

The Commonwealth Bank, the bank at the centre of many of the biggest scandals to hit the industry, is the last major bank to confirm that victims and former staff are free to give evidence to the financial services royal commission.

The bank has indicated current staff will also be able to volunteer evidence free from retribution.

Businesses plan to invest and hire more: NAB survey

Companies expect business conditions to continue improving and are planning to lift investment and hire more people over the coming year.

NAB’s quarterly business survey found conditions were slightly higher in the final three months of 2017

Capital expenditure plans higher for the next twelve months. (Supplied: NAB)

Banks need to address ‘decades of inaction on direct debits’

Australia’s biggest banks have ignored major problems with unauthorised direct-debit transactions for years, leaving customers out of pocket and frustrated.

That is according to a submission to the Royal Commission into the Misconduct in Banking and Financial Services Industry .

Banks to be fined for failing to report more credit data

Big banks that fail to report more detailed customer credit history into the credit bureaus by September will be hit with penalties of $2.1 million per breach, under draft legislation mandating the “comprehensive credit reporting” (CCR) regime released on Thursday.

The new law gives the Australian Securities and Investments Commission responsibility for monitoring compliance with the regime, which will be made mandatory for the major banks after they have resisted joining it for the past three years.

Scott Morrison says data sharing regime will ‘revolutionise’ banking

Treasurer Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 said new rules to give bank customers control over their data will disrupt the major banks’ “stronghold” on information and encourage a new wave of fintech innovation.

He said stringent security and governance rules along with safeguards to protect customer privacy would be be at the core of the federal government’s regime, due to start on July 1, 2019.

Banks forced to share credit data

Australia’s largest banks will be forced to hand over customer data to competitors under new legislation released for consultation by the Turnbull Government on Thursday. The new rules should allow borrowers with a good credit history to get a better deal from smaller lenders.

According to the draft legislation, banks will be required to have 50 per cent of their credit data ready for reporting by the start of July, increasing to 100 per cent a year later. Banks can also be fined $2.1 million every time they fail to update credit reporting information, which will be monitored by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

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