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Scott Morrison just announced new support for Australia's fintech scene

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Turnbull government today released its statement on Australia’s fintech future, committing new support to the industry that is “transforming our financial systems and our economy”.

Working closely with the federal government’s new fintech advisory group and Fintech Australia, the government has developed a set of new support measures for the industry, which includes:

  • Ensuring access to concessional tax treatment for venture capital investments in start-up FinTech firms
  • Commissioning the Productivity Commission to outline options to increase data availability and access to facilitate new products and better consumer outcomes
  • Taking action to address the ‘double GST’ treatment of digital currencies

The Government will also work with the FinTech industry on further reforms to:

  • Allow all companies regardless of assets and turnover to be eligible for Equity Crowdfunding
  • Remove cooling off periods and allow platforms to use their discretion to cancel an investment for legitimate reasons
  • Review Australian Market Licence (AML) requirements for crowdfunding intermediaries

Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra said that it was “encouraging to see the political resolve to ensure that a number of key levers are pulled and implemented in 2016. We must now work to get these policies activated swiftly and effectively. The world is not waiting for Australia, and if we intend to catch the global wave of fintech disruption we need to move quickly.”

The government also announced that it has been working with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and that it has released new guidance notes for digital finance product advice. In addition, the two are working together to develop a “regulatory sandbox” for Australian fintech, enabling firms to manage regulatory risks during testing stages and reduce the cost and time to make products.

The next move for the government is consulting with Australia’s crowd funding framework to ensure that there is access to new and alternative funding options.

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