Treasurer talks up robo-advice potential

Federal treasurer Scott Morrison has used an address to the G20 in Germany to highlight Australia’s growing fintech capabilities, singling out automated investment in particular. 

The speech to the elite economic forum in Wiesbaden yesterday explained that Mr Morrison had a “personal interest” in the topic of digitalisation of finance, which he said was one of the “priorities of Germany’s 2017 G20 Presidency”.

“Of course, financial technology — or FinTech — is transforming the world's financial systems and economies,” Mr Morrison said.

“Consumers' preferences are already changing the way that many financial products and services are delivered, simultaneously utilising and requiring technological innovations to keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing world. From Australia's perspective, we see huge benefits — huge opportunities — emerging in this space.”

Among a number of emerging financial technologies, the treasurer said automation of services is an especially welcome trend, resulting in “lower costs and an increase in people using a particular service”.

“One of the prime examples is robo-advice, which has the potential to offer financial advice to a wider cross section of the community,” Mr Morrison said.

“In Australia, businesses are beginning to integrate robo-advice into the retirement savings system to help people engage and prepare more fully for retirement. But that is not where the opportunities end.”

Mr Morrison said the federal government will be enacting policy and regulatory responses to help foster fintech innovation, pointing to ASIC’s regulatory sandbox.

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