The Financial Services Council (FSC) has welcomed Parliament’s decision to expand the scope and length of the Fintech Select Committee to focus on initiatives to help Australia become a technology and finance centre.
The FSC said it was pleased to see the committee would focus on options to replace the Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) regime, which the Government had recently announced would shortly come to an end.
Blake Briggs, acting FSC chief executive, said the OBU regime encouraged globally-mobile financial services companies to be located in Australia and its imminent closure could cause operations to be taken offshore.
“It is critical the Government use the Fintech Select Committee to finalise measures that will ensure these activities remain in Australia,” Briggs said.
“The FSC has long urged the Federal Government to remove the barriers to the funds management sector becoming more globally competitive.
“The recent report of the ‘Australia as a Financial and Technology Centre Advisory Report’ set a roadmap for the reforms that are required to achieve the goal of promoting growth.
“The FSC recommends the Committee prioritise the implementation of Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle (CCIV) with competitive tax settings; amending the Investment Manger Regime rules; and removing the withholding tax applying to funds issued under the Asia Region Funds Passport program.”
The FSC said it looked forward to consulting with the Government and the committee to ensure Australia remained” an attractive destination” for global financial services companies.