New policies to fuel innovation in financial sector: ANZ Bank

In its final submission as a response to the Financial Services Inquiry's final report, ANZ Bank believes that if new policies are developed, it will provide the Australian banking sector with more digital opportunities.

A proposal by the Australian Financial Services Inquiry to introduce new policies that support innovation and remove impediments to digital services have been supported by ANZ Bank.

The responses come as several recommendations were made by the Financial Services Inquiry in its final report, which was released last December.

ANZ said in its final submission that while it agrees a permanent public-private sector collaborative committee should be established to coordinate policy and regulatory responses, it would be ineffective if it were a large committee.

But if a committee was introduced, ANZ said it should be responsible for assessing developments in Australia and other countries, identifying regulatory and policy obstacles to innovation, and assessing progress in transition to a digital market.

The bank added that it supports the need to develop a national strategy for digital identities as an extension of the federated-style model that is currently in place. ANZ also emphasised that a refreshed payments regulatory framework needs to be made simpler, clearer, and more transparent.

"Rules for connecting to and using a particular payment system should continue to be determined and controlled by the operator or owner of the system in line with the regulatory framework. A consistent approach to consumer protection is important. We support the ePayments Code being extended to all consumers," the bank reported.

ANZ also voiced its concerns that should polices be introduced to encourage innovation within the sector, it needs to ensure that it does not lead to unregulated areas of the market, but rather maintains "market integrity".

Meanwhile, four of Australia's regional banks -- Suncorp Bank, ME Bank, Bank of Queensland, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank -- in their joint submission urged the recommendations made by the Financial System Inquiry to be implemented in a timely manner, with belief that the introduction of new polices will level the playing field in banking.

"We welcome the recommendations of the inquiry that go some way toward levelling the playing field in banking. We also support the inquiry's view that there is scope to accelerate the risk accreditation process," said Bendigo and Adelaide Bank CEO Mike Hirst.