Malcolm Turnbull establishes an expert council on fintech to lead the way in Asia

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Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra

The federal government has established an “expert advisory group” on fintech with the aim of making Australia the leading hub for the sector in the Asia-Pacific.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and treasurer Scott Morrison announced the fintech advisory council on Wednesday morning, with Stone & Chalk chairman and Westpac director Craig Dunn to chair the group.

“Although Australia is a leading financial services market in the region, the sector is becoming increasingly globalised and exposed to technological disruption,” Turnbull and Morrison said in a joint statement.

“Many traditional financial products are being disrupted by the fintech sector, which is well positioned to become a leading player in the Asia-Pacific.”

Other members of the fintech council will include H2 Ventures co-founder Ben Heap, Veda CEO Nerida Caesar and Coinjar co-founder Asher Tan.

This announcement and the government’s focus on fintech help to validate the rapid growth in the sector, Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra says.

“[The announcement] is further evidence of the significant progress we have made in establishing the fintech sector as a source of growth and jobs for Australia’s new economy,” Scandurra tells StartupSmart.

“Today we have succeeded in moving fintech closer to the heart of the nation’s economic agenda.

“We look forward to continuing our work with government and all other stakeholders in the ecosystem to deliver these outcomes.”

Although the Victorian government has recently pushed to ensure all innovation boards and groups have an equal gender split, the fintech council will initially only have four female members out of 12 in total.

The fintech advisory council members:

  • Simon Cant – co-Founder and Managing Director, Reinventure
  • Matt Symons – co-Founder and CEO, Society One
  • Jason Yetton – former Group Executive, Retail and Business Banking, Westpac
  • Nerida Caesar – CEO and Managing Director, Veda
  • Kelly Bayer Rosmarin – group Executive, Institutional Banking & Markets, Commonwealth Bank
  • Ben Heap – founding Partner, H2 Ventures
  • Claire Wivell Plater – owner, The Fold Legal Pty Ltd
  • Asher Tan – co-Founder and CEO, Coinjar
  • Libby Roy – managing Director, Paypal Australia
  • Jost Stollmann – executive Director and CEO, Tyro Payments
  • Jonny Wilkinson – co-Founder and Managing Director, Equitise
  • Scott Farrell – partner, King & Wood Mallesons

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Denham Sadler is the editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.
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