Astrid Raetze is a partner in the Sydney office of KPMG. She is the Australian Head of FinTech for KPMG. She specialises in financial services, banking, regulatory issues, derivatives, financial products and FinTech. Practice focus Clients seek Astrid out for her market leading understanding of financial services, products, markets and the relationship and interplay between participants in the financial services space. Astrid is also a leading advisor to players in the newly emerging FinTech industry as well as to banks, investment banks, investment managers, hedge funds, product issuers and exchanges. She has been instrumental in the structuring and establishment of innovative financial products (both listed and OTC). Astrid was short-listed for the 2017 Financial Times Innovative Lawyer of the year, Asia Pacific. She is popular with her clients who describe her as an ”outstanding commercial adviser” and a “leader in the structured products space in Australia”, Chambers Asia Pacific – Financial Services Regulation 2017. Astrid is also valued by her clients and peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in Australia for Funds Management” according to the Australian Financial Review’ Best Lawyers Survey.
This distinguished panel looked at the much-discussed topic of how fair – or unfair – loans to SMEs had been.
Neil Slonim took the line that there needs to be more transparency on brokerage. Currently borrowers are getting put into loans that aren’t in their best interests because brokers re getting offered significant sums by fintechs.
Helen Gordon said that there have been positive steps made towards transparency and disclosure and the industry is making efforts to head towards a more transparent lending contracts.
Astrid Raetze noted that fintech lenders can and should do the right thing by SMEs and was optimistic about the future.
Anna Scott said that small businesses are time poor and often don’t have the lawyers to read through loan agreements.