FinTech on the agenda for Treasurer

Promoting financial sector innovation and affordable housing are on Scott Morrison’s agenda, as he travels to the United Kingdom for high level talks. 

The Federal Treasurer will be travelling to the UK and Germany this week for the G20 symposium on financial technology and digitalisation. Mr. Morrison will be delivering an address to the conference to highlight actions the Australian Government is taking to promote the nation’s Fintech (financial technology) industry.

The conference as a whole will focus on exploring the risks and opportunities of new financial technologies, including the work which central banks and legislators in G20 countries can do to further enable new technology.

Germany is expected to make digital finance one of the key priorities of its tenure as G20 President in 2017, meaning Australia is anticipating a significant opportunity to develop trade and investment relationships in the Fintech sector.

 

Fintech lessons from the Brits

Mr. Morrison intends to utilise his visit to the UK to explore what policies their government is pursuing regarding innovation and regulation in the financial system, with a view to potentially applying these in Australia.

An example of UK legislation which would have useful applications for Aussies is the recent requirement for major banks to provide greater access for customers to their own personal data, as well as to Fintech developers through secure encryption.

In a press release, the Treasurer said he would be meeting with “a range of experts and entrepreneurs to discuss Fintech and innovation, particularly how improved use of information can deliver benefits for consumers.”

It is expected that he will also tackle the issue of growing regulatory red tape as financial transactions become exponentially more frequent.

In his speech to the Fintech Australia Summit in November 2016, Mr. Morrison stated that financial institutions globally spend more than US$70 billion on compliance annually, a figure which was expected to rise to US$120 billion by 2020.

Other Mission – Affordable Housing

In addition to his financial innovation agenda, Mr. Morrison will also be meeting with specialists in the affordable housing industry. He will take advice from both government and private-sector financiers as to the policies that the UK has successfully implemented to create more affordable social housing.

Meetings on his agenda include ones with Housing and Planning Minister and Minister for London, Gavin Barwell, and City Minister Simon Kirby, as well as talks with representatives from the Bank of England and European Central Bank.

“Australian governments combined currently spend over $10 billion per year on housing in Australia,” said the Treasurer in the media release.

“This funding needs to be used more efficiently in order to help disadvantaged households overcome the challenge of not being able to access secure and affordable housing, which has significant flow on effects to so many other social and economic outcomes.”

 

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