Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated the government is willing to pull various "tax levers" in order to turn Australia into a more significant financial centre on the world stage.
The Prime Minister was asked about the government's approach to creating a fintech hub in Australia at the launch of IPO and placements platform OnMarket Bookbuilds yesterday.
"The tax system is the biggest set of levers that the government has to incentivise business," Mr Turnbull said.
He noted the tax system is sometimes 'sub-optimally' designed to disincentivise business.
"We’re looking at all of those [tax] features, but I have always felt that Australia should be a bigger financial centre than it is," Mr Turnbull said.
The Prime Minister noted Australia has the advantage of being in the same time zone as some major financial centres.
"I’ve always found it pretty convincing that technology has annihilated longitudinal distance if not latitudinal distance," Mr Turnbull said.
"If you’re in the same time zone you can talk to people in the same part of the day. You’re pretty much connected nowadays."
There are "powerful arguments" in favour of Australia becoming a larger financial centre, Mr Turnbull said.
"We have the huge advantage of a gigantic (relative to the size of our overall economy) superannuation industry with a gigantic funds management industry – and that is an enormous base upon which to build," he said.
"We’ve got strong financial and prudential regulation, and we’ve got some of the best banks in the world by any measure. There is a first-class legal system [in place in Australia as well].
"So we’ve got everything going for us here. We’ve got all of the same features – other than scale – that London has," he said.
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