Statement by FinTech Australia on comments by Ed Husic, MP

FinTech Australia has always been, and remains, fiercely apolitical.

If we think a proposal hurts the fintech industry, then we will state it – irrespective of its origin.

For instance, we recently did this when we raised concerns about the Australian Government’s changes to limit the ability of startup companies to claim for software under the Research & Development tax incentive.

We have also expressed our concerns about limitations in product scope for the current design of ASIC’s regulatory sandbox, though we recognise it is also an important step forward in policy development and better than standing still.

Equally so, we will express support for policies, such as the equity crowdfunding legislation, which helps the Australian fintech and broader community.

  • In regard to some of Mr Husic’s points made in his speech in the Australian Parliament on 22 March:
  • We think it would have been a bad outcome to refuse or delay this legislation for public companies while work was undertaken to extend it to private companies, given the strong pent-up demand for this legislation.
  • We of course strongly support the legislation being extended to private companies and urge the government to expedite this work
  • We have repeatedly argued that any form of cooling-off period – two or five days – could lead to people trying to unethically manipulate the equity crowdfunding market. However, we support the amended legislation as a necessary compromise to introduce equity crowdfunding to Australia.
  • The legislation contains a number of other investor protection provisions.

Overall, our sole aim is to help the Australian fintech industry to grow and we will seek to work with all industry players, including Mr Husic, to ensure this happens.

We are strong supporters of the work Mr Husic does for the startup community, and are hopeful that we might be able to work more closely with him as we continue to progress discussions concerning the extension of the equity crowdfunding framework to private companies

The $200,000 Australian Government grant is being used to promote the best and brightest in the Australian fintech industry to the world – which surely must have bipartisan support.