2021 AFIA Conference Program

Download a pdf version of the program here.


 AFIA Impact 2020

Peter Jones, AFIA Chair


Opening Address – Igniting our Recovery

A week on from the 2021 Federal Budget announcement, Senator Hume will discuss the government’s plans for embedding Australia’s economic recovery. She will address the government’s approach and priorities as they relate to financial services and financial technology advancements and consider how our members can best play their role in growing the economy, building community and enhancing trust in the industry.

Senator the Hon Jane Hume. Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Minister for Women’s Economic Security



Fireside Chat: A Regulatory Panorama

Joining AFIA CEO, Diane Tate in conversation, Sean will discuss the regulator’s priorities, their perspectives on the economic environment and how it is impacting thinking across the industry. We will hear how ASIC are approaching the implementation of new legislation, such as the Design and Distribution Obligations, and how those and the Product Intervention Powers will lead the regulator’s approach to the customer-centric regulatory environment over the next few years.

Sean Hughes, Commissioner, ASIC 


Leading the Way: Q&A

Will leadership mean something in the future? How will you and your organisation adapt to shifts in leadership in the financial services world? We’ll have the opportunity to reflect on what the changing leadership means to us – and the interconnectivity between big and small data and a greater emphasis on social licence, shared value and customer-centricity.

Ann Sherry AO, Portfolio NED - NAB / UNICEF / Sydney Airport / MCA / Infrastructure Victoria



Morning Tea


Economic Update: Moving Goalposts

A regular economics commentator, Paul will set out his views on what is ahead in 2021 and put this in the context of the prospects for the global economy. He will offer insights into how the government and policy-makers are likely to respond to developments in the health and economic environment and consider the priorities for the business community as Australia progresses down this pathway of initial and then sustainable recovery. 

Paul Bloxham, Chief Economist, HSBC  


Rapid Fire Session: Thriving Not Surviving

Taking the key themes from recent BCG consumer research in Australia (consumer sentiment and behaviours), Wendy will give us her perspectives on trends and shifts in behaviours in the post-COVID world and how that might drive evolution in the financial services landscape.

Wendy Mackay, Managing Director & Partner, BCG


Panel: Digitising the Future 

Buy Now Pay Later has been leading disruption in consumer finance across Australia in recent years. As we continue to see an emergence of BNPL players in the sector, we will hear from these early leaders on how the disruptors will continue to disrupt in a world of ‘what’s next?’. Leaning on their experiences, our panel will talk about how this sector is supporting the changing needs and preferences of consumers and experiencing exponential growth as a consequence. They will also discuss the importance of data in enabling better decisions and the role that ‘fleet of foot’ self-regulation plays in protecting customers and driving competition in financial services.

Anthony Eisen, Co-founder, CEO & Managing Director Afterpay, Rebecca James, CEO, Humm, Piers Redward, Co-founder & CEO, Payright &
Dr Michael Schaper, Chair, AFIA BNPL CCC (Host)





Keynote: King of Disruption

The internet and smartphone are just the latest in a 250-year long cycle of disruption that has continuously changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we interact. The coming ‘Augmented Age’, however, promises a level of disruption, behavioural shifts and changes that are unparalleled. Following on from the Industrial or Machine Age, the Space Age and the Digital Age, the Augmented Age is based on four disruptive themes. Brett will share his vision for a future that looks very different from our norm. Are you ready for your thinking to be challenged?

Brett King, world-renowned futurist 


Panel: Reinventing Financial Literacy

As high-profile finance and economics commentators, these panel members are deeply embedded in the process of ensuring Australians understand the financial world and how it impacts them. In this discussion, they will focus on issues facing people today in the areas of digital financial literacy, the role of financial literacy, protecting vulnerable consumers and the importance of these areas in a changing financial, economic and regulatory landscape.

David Koch, TV Presenter, Paul Clitheroe, TV Presenter & Jessica Irvine, Journalist


In Conversation with ASBFEO 

AFIA Deputy Chair, Cameron, and Small Business Owner Jason Smith will talk with the new Small Business Ombudsman about how he sees the opportunities and challenges facing this important sector of the economy in 2021 and beyond. In a candid and open conversation, they will touch on ASBFEOs support and their programs, reviews and research into and for the sector. And with a focus on the ‘Fintech’ space, they will share insights into regulations and legislation that will impact, support and possibly impede as well as the innovations needed to support competitiveness, success, and growth of the sector.

Bruce Billson, Small Business Ombudsman, Small Business Owner & Cameron Poolman, CEO, Ondeck (Host) & Jason Smith, Director, Capital Plus Finance



Afternoon Tea


Putting People First

In this session, Stephen will share the Opposition’s perspective on the current policy debates that impact AFIA members. He will look at the current priorities and campaigns of the Australian Labour Party as they relate to financial services and our economy. And give us his own views on the Federal Budget and whether it will support those it needs to and address the big issues facing Australia this year.

Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation


Future of Credit: Harmonising Human and AI

Ada will turn us on our heads and help us see finance without humans! She will look at how AI can support our industry to support customers - millennials and Gen Zers alike. She will delve into the world of data and real-time intelligence sharing, using automation in financial services generally and in lending specifically, and she will consider how those things bring to the fore, accessibility and social participation issues. Be prepared to think a little differently about now and as we head into the future.

Ada Guan, CEO & Co-founder, Rich Data Corp


Rising to the Community

In this session, Cris will explore the four themes of ‘ethical behaviour’ as they apply to financial services in Australia, now and into the future:

Ethics – the importance of business ethics, misconduct in financial services, and raising standards of conduct in the finance industry.
Rebuilding trust – fundamental challenges in rebuilding the public’s trust in the financial services industry.

Transforming culture – putting the best interests of customers at the centre of institutional and industry culture.
The Ethics Alliance and the Banking and Finance Oath.


Cris Parker, Head of The Ethics Alliance,The Ethics Centre & Director, The Banking & Finance Oath



The Late Debate: Keeping the Customer Close

In a fast-evolving digital environment it is more important than ever for businesses to foster trust and loyalty by being truly customer-centric. But what does it really mean to be customer-centric? Does it mean different things in different places in the market, or is it just that SMEs and large financial institutions approach the issue from different cultural and product perspectives?

Smaller and more specialised lenders might argue they know their customers’ business better or offer more personalised or tailored products. The bigger end of town might be able to be a ‘one stop shop’ for their customers with a frictionless experience.

Our panel of experts will debate how financial institutions continue to transform the customer journey, the importance of data, how we can create better outcomes for consumers, innovation, and much more.

Aaron Baxter, CEO, CustomFleet (Host)

Jon Moodie, CEO, Allied Credit Group; Matthew Beattie, Managing Director, Thrifty Aus & Keith Rodwell, CEO, Maia Financial


Mario Rehayem, CEO, Pepper Financial Services & Clare Morgan, Executive General Manager, CBA & Peter Jones, Managing Director, Nissan Financial Services Aus


Moving Ahead

Diane Tate, CEO, AFIA


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Networking Drinks