News Pulse for July 20, 2018

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

Employment regains its mojo with booming growth in June

Australia’s jobs’ market appears to have regained its mojo with employment lifting by more than 50,000 in June, the strongest expansion since late last year.

Importantly, the bulk of the jobs were full-time (+41,200), while there was more modest growth in part-time positions (+9,700).

Aust climbs global innovation ranks

Australia’s global innovation ranking has improved, moving up three places in the Global Innovation Index 2018 co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Australia is now ranked at 20, a progress on last year’s results where Australia ranked 23rd. Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden topped the index, followed by the UK, Singapore and the US.

Small and mighty: Meet the challenger banks nipping at the heels of the big four

A slew of challenger banks are poised to burst onto the Australian finance scene, in a bid to take on the big four, and change the way that Aussies think about banking.

Typically offering cloud-based banking services without a bricks-and-mortar branch in sight, these so-called ‘neobanks’ say they will provide a more personal banking service, designed to be more in line with what modern bank customers want, whether that’s near real-time updates on spending and saving, or personalised lending for small business customers.

Australian government to establish Open Banking regime

The Australian government has announced it will implement the recommendations of the recent Review into Open Banking.

This will be done by both creating a Consumer Data Right (CDR) within the banking sector and developing a data sharing framework to facilitate an open banking regime.

Queensland tech startup kicks goals in equity crowdfunding

Advance Queensland Hot DesQ participant and crowdfunding pioneer PledgeMe has made history as the only female-led equity crowdfunding platform to be licensed in Australia.

The startup, which relocated here from New Zealand in October 2017, was also the first Queensland-based business and one of only nine across Australia so far to secure one of the ground-breaking licenses from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission early this year.

Major banks reveal what it means to act ‘fairly and reasonably’

The big four banks have responded to the royal commission’s call for a definition of what it means to act “fairly and reasonably” towards a customer in “a consistent and ethical manner”.

In the closing remarks of the fourth round of hearings for the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, the commission asked the witnesses to respond to several questions, including “What does it mean for a bank to act fairly and reasonably towards a customer in a consistent and ethical manner?”

Sharing economy startup Camplify secures tax win for users through landmark ATO ruling 

Campervan sharing economy startup Camplify has scored a big win for its users, securing a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office that allows motorhome owners to claim tax deductions on any expenses accrued through using the platform.

The ATO Australian Taxation Office’s ruling is a landmark decision as it represents the first time people using sharing economy platforms will be able to claim tax deductions on things like maintenance expenses, without having to register the activity as a business.

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