8 October 2021
Currently, significant delay, financial costs and opportunity costs result from the need to sign and witness deeds and statutory declarations on paper; these costs also result from inconsistent and
uncertain regulations under Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.
The ABA strongly advocates for the reforms to remain technology neutral and provide a single, consistent approach to executing deeds and statutory declarations. Otherwise the reforms may make it
harder to use, and therefore disincentivise the use of, electronic execution.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Senate Select Committee on Cost of Living’s (Committee) inquiry into the cost of living pressures facing Australians, ways to ease the cost of living and the Government’s fiscal policy response (Inquiry).
Banks are aware of the challenges Australians face in the current inflationary environment, which have arisen from a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, high household savings, pent-up demand, and global factors, including supply chain constraints and the war in Ukraine. To curb inflation, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), alongside other central banks globally, have responded by tightening monetary policy. The increases in the target cash rate have had flow-on effects to the cost of banking and living for Australian consumers.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the Treasury’s consultation and the role that this initiative can play in developing a crypto regulatory regime in Australia. Regulation of crypto assets The Reserve Bank’s retail Central Bank Digital Currency trial highlights the potential for crypto assets to benefit the economy, with a role for banks, payments, financial markets and fintechs. The crypto assets market continues to grow. An estimated 25.6% of Australians own crypto assets,1 and the global cryptocurrency market rebounded to an estimated US$1.08 trillion in early 2023.
The ABA supports the policy objective that large businesses pay small businesses on time. Banks have taken a range of steps to support small business customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and following recent major natural disasters. As a relatively new reporting regime, the ABA considers there is room to improve the scheme to ensure greater efficiency while maintaining or improving its effectiveness.