Start-ups welcome fintech advisory board


By Kristen Crawford

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Fintech hubs and start-ups have praised the federal government’s announcement of an expert advisory group to help develop Australia into a fintech leader in the Asia Pacific region.

In a statement this week, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the move would build on the existing commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship through measures already announced, including the national innovation and science agenda and innovation collaboration committee.

The new group would be chaired by Stone & Chalk chair and Westpac Bank director Craig Dunn, and would include prolific players in the fintech space such as SocietyOne, Tyro Fintech Hub and H2 Ventures.

Tyro head and ASIC digital finance advisory committee member Andrew Corbett-Jones told financialobserver the initiative was exactly the focus fintech required if Australia was to compete effectively and build its global reputation.

“Fintech is that important, and it is heartening to see that this government understands that, and is prepared to act,” Corbett-Jones said.

“It is also heartening to see some of our premier fintechs - including Tyro - taking a seat at the table, along with leading fintech investors and advisers such as Claire Wivell Plater.

“They are at the coalface of fintech and know inside out the issues that fintechs face.”

Meanwhile, Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra said the announcement was further evidence of the significant progress the hub had made in establishing the fintech sector as a source of growth and jobs.

“We have succeeded in moving fintech closer to the heart of the nation's economic agenda, and on behalf of the startups and partners of Stone & Chalk I thank [the government],” Scandurra said.

“We look forward to continuing our work with government and all other stakeholders in the ecosystem to deliver these outcomes.”

Clover Chief executive Harry Chemay said his automated investment service start-up welcomed government recognition of the potential for fintech to materially add to Australia's economic prosperity.

“We believe that a thriving fintech ecosystem is needed to foster competition, improve consumer outcomes and maintain a healthy financial services sector,” Chemay said.

“In the case of Clover, we see robo-advice as being pivotal to helping more Australians engage with their financial affairs earlier in life, with benefits both for those advised and, ultimately, for Australia's tax transfer system."

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