News Pulse for April 16, 2018

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

ANZ Bank predicts first look at open banking laws around June

ANZ Bank is expecting to see open banking legislation introduced to parliament around June of this year.

Chief data officer Emma Gray told the bank’s own podcast that ANZ was already preparing for the arrival of the laws, though exact details of what they would contain is still the subject of discussions with government.

Urgent reform needed for wayward Tax Office

Calls are growing for the Minister for Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the Australian Taxation Office to allow a transparent review of one of the country’s most powerful institutions.

Interestingly, O’Dwyer chose Treasury to conduct an investigation into the ATO Australian Taxation Office amid allegations by Fairfax Media and Four Corners that the tax office has extraordinary powers but little oversight and a toxic culture where staff are pressured to meet revenue-raising targets and pursue small business.

‘We’re not perfect’: ATO boss says agency wants to restore confidence


The Tax Office could reform its handling of disputed debts and will draw on ideas from staff as it makes changes responding to a Fairfax-Four Corners investigation raising allegations of heavy-handed tactics at the agency.

Australian Taxation Office boss Chris Jordan, in an email co-signed by other executives, has told its 20,000 public servants that it welcomes an investigation announced by the federal government this week and that the agency wants to restore public confidence.

FINNIES: The Australian fintech startups disrupting home loans

A new type of fintech company is helping home buyer owners save on their home loans, using technology to drive competition and take business from the big banks.

The differences between mortgage deals offered by the big four banks are hard to spot and even harder to work out when looking for a home loan deal, according to an investigation by the consumer watchdog, the ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

Employees stuck in ‘zombie’ contracts of WorkChoices era

Thousands of Australian employees are still unwittingly trapped in so-called “zombie” workplace contracts written during the WorkChoices era, an investigation by the ABC’s daily news podcast The Signal has found.

One of South Australia’s largest employers, On The Run, has opted to finally phase out WorkChoices-era contracts for its roughly 3,250 employees — offering many of them the full range of late night and other shift payments, penalty rates and shift breaks for the first time.

On the road to open banking

Australian banks are working hard to get ahead of regulators and scrutinise their cyber security procedures in line with a global financial community still haunted by the $US81 million digital heist of the Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016. That’s the view of the newest major entrant to the region’s cyber security community, Silicon Valley-headquartered Illumio, which last month opened its regional head office in Sydney.

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