While the 2015 budget has not been directly focused on financial services, it has taken some clear steps towards supporting growth and competition in the industry through encouragement of innovation, fair competition and technology.

The Financial Services sector will indirectly benefit from the small businesses package that will see start-up fintech companies flourish, which in turn is expected to encourage innovation and competition within the sector.
 
“A suite of incentives aimed at small business helps traditional sectors but is also expected to quietly encourage the burgeoning financial technology players and disruptive innovators. Fintech players are often startups and small businesses, whose innovation today may make them the ‘Aussie Google of tomorrow’, said Madeleine Mattera, Head of Financial Services at Grant Thornton Australia.
 
“Digital disruption, innovation and transformation is inevitable in the current financial services industry landscape and we believe it provides great opportunity for the sector.
 
“It encourages important competition for the financial services industry but it also provides real opportunity for companies as well as super funds to invest in innovation and to work with new start ups in a collaborative way. The support promised by the government in facilitating new opportunities for crowd-source funding and expanding tax concessions for Employee Share Schemes are all a step in the right direction to providing support for ‘fintech’.
 
We’re pleased to see the Government does not appear to have proceeded with the introduction of a deposit levy on retail bank deposits. This will be warmly welcomed by smaller banks and credit unions in particular, who would have been disadvantaged by such a levy.
 
The Government’s decision to also steer clear of substantial changes to superannuation thresholds and tax rates is welcomed by Grant Thornton.
 
“The Pensions Assets test which will result in wealthier retirees having their part-pensions reduced or becoming ineligible is not expected to have as significant an impact as other changes to Superannuation would have. Therefore, these changes are a welcome alternative to other previously proposed initiatives which may have resulted in unnecessary complexity and administrative burden for superfunds.
 
For more information please contact:
 
Helina Lilley, National Public Relations Manager, T  +61 2 8297 2421, M  0437 725 520 E helina.lilley@au.gt.com