24 February 2016
Transcript - #2016022, 2016

First meeting of the FinTech Advisory Group, Parliament House, Canberra

Joint interview
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister


Well, Scott and Wyatt, Kelly, it’s great to be here, to have here our FinTech Advisory Group.

Financial Services is one of the, and Christopher, the Minister, the Minister himself.

It’s good that we are all here; we’re here to listen to you because we’ve put together an Innovation and Science Agenda which is all about growing the economy of the 21st-century and that is based clearly on innovation. Financial services is an enormous industry, it’s an enormous sector in which Australia has many competitive advantages, a large superannuation fund base, we’re in the same time zone as the big markets of East Asia and we’ve already seen great examples of innovation in the sector.

So right across the board, we want to be part of that, we want to support that, we know that it is going to create the jobs and the better jobs and the better opportunities for the 21st century.

Innovation is the key to our future success and you’re leading innovators in that field and that’s why we’re here to confer with you and get guidance from you and see how we can help you do your work.


Well thanks Prime Minister and I thank everybody for coming together and colleagues for joining in this first gathering of the Advisory Committee.

As the Prime Minister says, innovation is the key and for one simple reason, it’s the key to productivity growth.

It’s the thing that unlocks and catalyses earnings for our economy and what that means for people sitting outside this room today, people in ordinary everyday jobs, is that’s where the earnings come from. That's where the wage increases come from. That's where the export earnings come from is when we get innovation right and that's why this is so central.

It's not just a discussion for those who are into start-ups or those who are into science and technology. It affects everyone in our economy and if we get this right and this has been set as a top priority under the Turnbull government, to get this right. Then the earnings will flow right across the economy.

In the next few days I’ll be meeting with finance ministers from all the G20 countries and this is a competitive environment in FinTech and we need to get on the front foot and be in the lead and we can because we have the best FinTech operators in the world. We’ve got the smartest minds in the world in this area. We’re getting great support from state governments with the things we’re working on. New South Wales in particular, a big commitment to see Sydney as a real hub for this which is good for the country.

So it’s great to get your feedback and the good news for people sitting in their jobs today is this means earnings growth for you and your family.


Thank you Prime Minister and thank you also to the Treasurer. Look this has been the culmination of a number of months work with the FinTech community working closely with Treasury to really try and get FinTech onto the national agenda as a key priority.

It is a huge opportunity with some of the largest banks globally, third-largest wealth pool globally, we have absolutely the opportunity to be a world-class home for FinTech.

And at the same time, it’s a huge risk if we don't seize this opportunity. It represents the largest contributor to GDP as an industry, largest tax contributor so this is, we believe, a critical opportunity that we have to seize.

This advisory group is going to work closely with the FinTech Association, FinTech Australia which is just formed and we’ll be trying to continue to drive a roadmap of how to ensure that Australia is globally competitive as a FinTech regulatory environment.


Very good. Well thank you, thank you very much and you know we’re making a number of very important steps already. I mean the work on crowdfunding which Kelly’s introduced that legislation is obviously going to be critically important. That will lead to peer-to-peer lending. We’ve seen that reforms that Scott’s succeeded in being passed, recently, in terms of you know rationalising the whole credit card surcharge business so that merchants will not be able to charge surcharges on credit cards that are in excess of what the real cost of using them is. All of these are things, measures that relate to the financial services industry and they’re all pulling in the same direction. Greater productivity, more effective competition and hence more jobs and better jobs here in Australia. So, thank you.

Thanks media, we’ll now confer with these luminaries around the table and listen.