Parliament of Australia: Select Committee on Fintech & Regtech Re-Opens Comments on Sector in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

The Australian Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology (ie Fintech and Regtech) has re-opened a consultation in light of the ongoing Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Australian Parliament:

“Since the committee finished its last round of public hearings in February, Australia’s economic and financial environment has changed dramatically as a result of the unfolding COVID‑19 pandemic. The committee is keenly aware that these rapid and unexpected changes will have a significant impact on the Fintech and Regtech sectors.”

As most Fintechs and Regtechs are digital native and thus able to more easily operate in a virtual or remote environment, there may be additional opportunities as all financial services firms are compelled to practice social distancing to stem the infection rate of COVID-19.

On September 11, 2019, the Australian Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Fintech and Regtech to inquire and report on the following topics:

  • the size and scope of the opportunity for Australian consumers and business arising from financial technology (Fintech) and regulatory technology (Regtech);
  • barriers to the uptake of new technologies in the financial sector;
  • the progress of Fintech facilitation reform and the benchmarking of comparable global regimes;
  • current Regtech practices and the opportunities for the Regtech industry to strengthen compliance but also reduce costs;
  • the effectiveness of current initiatives in promoting a positive environment for Fintech and Regtech start-ups; and
    any related matters.

The committee scheduled the date of the first day in October of 2020 for the final report. The last round of public hearings took place last month (February). In the last few weeks, Australia’s economic and financial environment has changed dramatically as a result of the unfolding COVID‑19 pandemic – just like the rest of the world.

To quote the committee:

“In light of current circumstances, the committee is not going to press ahead with its previous timetable. Instead, the committee has re-opened its inquiry submission process to enable submitters to provide further input to the committee on what the critical needs of the sector are at this time.

The committee would like to hear what support is necessary in the short, medium and long term, including post-recovery, focusing on solutions that can be delivered swiftly by government and the private sector.”

The new deadline is April 10, 2020.

The committee added that submissions do not need to be lengthy and short summaries are perfectly acceptable to communicate the key needs of any proposed solutions. The committee said it was sensitive to not increase the workload to businesses in Australia at this time.

Submissions should be emailed to: [email protected]

The Issues paper published previously is available below (click to download).


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