RATESETTER’S Australian division has welcomed the country’s banking reforms unveiled in the Federal Budget on Tuesday.
Changes imposed in the major fiscal event include a bumper levy on the country’s biggest banks, an “open banking” scheme to give customers greater access to their banking data and measures to boost competition and accountability in the sector.
The Productivity Commission, an independent review and advisory body created by the Australian government, published its recommendations for banking reforms on Monday ahead of the Federal Budget. The organisation suggested that banks build APIs to enable data sharing with customers.
UK-headquartered peer-to-peer lender RateSetter, which launched its Australian division to the public in 2014, said that fintechs could play an important role in driving competition and making it easier for consumers to find alternative savings and credit products.
“We commend [Treasurer] Scott Morrison for jumping on the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to introduce an open data regime for banks in Australia,” said RateSetter Australia chief executive Daniel Foggo.
“In requiring big banks to give consumers greater control over their own data, the government has stood up to the banking sector lobbyists and shown it’s serious about boosting competition in financial services in Australia.
“In simple terms, this measure will help break down the huge advantage big banks have over innovative new entrants and make it significantly easier and faster for consumers and small businesses to switch to providers like RateSetter who can offer a much better deal.
“Open data has real potential to drive competition, spur on the development of Australia’s fintech sector and ultimately save consumers and small businesses a significant amount of money.”
Last month, RateSetter Australia revealed that millennial investors – meaning those aged between 18 and 35 – now account for the majority of its total active investor base. The platform argues that poor rates on savings accounts, high property prices and stock market volatility have pushed younger adults towards P2P lending.