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15-211MR Innovation Hub: ASIC Update
ASIC’s Innovation Hub has got off to a strong start, with 32 external meetings with new fintech businesses and industry organisations since it was established.
The Innovation Hub has been developed to help new financial technology, or ‘fintech’, businesses navigate ASIC’s regulatory system. Since its establishment in April 2015 ASIC has:
- started work in relation to 22 businesses, including applications for licences and requests for guidance
- released new webpages for fintech businesses with targeted information
- established the Digital Finance Advisory Committee (DFAC) – an external committee to provide guidance to ASIC on its engagement with the fintech sector, and
- set up a senior internal taskforce to coordinate our work on new business models across the financial services industry.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘ASIC is committed to encouraging innovation, particularly where it can lead to better consumer and market outcomes.
‘However, ASIC will not compromise the fundamental principles of financial services regulation. We continue to prioritise appropriate regulation to promote consumer and investor trust and confidence.’
To that end ASIC has established internal working groups in relation to automated financial advice, crowd-sourced equity funding and digital marketplace lending. These working groups are overseen by ASIC’s senior Innovation Hub taskforce.
Engagement with industry
In addition to the meetings held to date, ASIC plans to make senior staff available at industry hubs and open events to present information and respond to questions.
As part of the Innovation Hub initiative, ASIC has released new webpages for fintech businesses that are developing financial products or services.
The webpages have information on how ASIC will assess requests for assistance, the kinds of assistance it will provide - including guidance to fintech start-ups on the regulatory framework and licensing processes - and a request for assistance form.
Mr Price said, ‘Informal guidance from ASIC will help new businesses consider the important regulatory issues early. This will allow innovators to resolve problems and minimise the time and cost of applying for licences or relief from the law.’
Requests for guidance can be sent to InnovationHub@asic.gov.au.
ASIC has also established the Digital Finance Advisory Committee (DFAC) to advise ASIC on its Innovation Hub initiative and its engagement with innovative businesses more broadly.
The initial members of DFAC are drawn from a cross-section of the fintech community, as well as academia and consumer backgrounds.
The DFAC is comprised of:
- Deborah Ralston: Professor of Finance, Monash University (DFAC Chair)
- Andrew Corbett-Jones: Head, Tyro Fintech Hub
- Toby Heap: Managing Director , H2 Ventures
- Kim Heras: General Partner, 25fifteen
- Murray Hurps: General Manager, Fishburners
- Jenni Mack: Director, Sunsuper
- Alex Scandurra: CEO, Stone and Chalk
- Matt Symons: CEO, SocietyOne
Mr Price said, ‘The perspectives provided by the committee members will help ASIC direct its efforts in the fintech sector.’
DFAC will meet for the first time in August 2015.
Visit ASIC’s Innovation Hub