Fintech sector lobbies for an exception

by Madison Utley23 Apr 2020

A fintech advocacy group has reached out to the government regarding the loopholes it has identified within current COVID-19 stimulus measures and its belief the sector needs further support to be internationally competitive.

FinTech Australia focused on COVID-19's impact on the sector in its second submission to the Senate Inquiry on fintech and regtech. 

“This submission details our view on how COVID-19 has impacted our industry and why, despite the extraordinary measures taken by the government already, more needs to be done,” said Rebecca Schot-Guppy, GM of FinTech Australia.

Among other concerns, the submission highlighted oversights within the standing COVID-19 stimulus measures, such as all lenders, including fintech non-ADI lenders, being automatically disqualified from applying for JobKeeper payments.

The group has called for an immediate exception to be made for non-bank lenders.

The group also detailed short and longer term support from the government which would help ensure the fintech sector can become and remain internationally competitive and can continue to buoy employment as the country recovers from COVID-19.

“While some components, like technical exemptions from the JobKeeper allowance for lenders, can be flagged for immediate change by the Treasurer, others will require discussion and a willingness to invest in our innovation industry as a creator of jobs,” said Schot-Guppy.

“Australia won’t be the first to act on such measures. We are suggesting steps that have been taken in the UK and Singapore.

“We welcome a robust discussion with the government on how to ensure fintech and other innovation industries contribute to Australia’s economic recovery and also create jobs for more Australians.”

The Senate announced the establishment of the committee to inquire and report on the fintech and regtech sectors within Australia in October of this year.

The group examines the scope of opportunity presented by fintech for both consumers and businesses, barriers to the uptake of new technologies in the financial sector, and the effectiveness of current initiatives in promoting a positive environment for start-ups - among other considerations.