Grab, Sea And Ant Group amongst 4 Selected for Singapore Digital Banking Licenses

Grab, Sea And Ant Group amongst 4 Selected for Singapore Digital Banking Licenses

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced it will award two digital full bank (DFB) licenses to a consortium comprising Grab and national telco, Singtel and a wholly-owned entity by tech giant Sea.

Additionally, the central bank will grant two digital wholesale bank (DWB) licenses to Ant Group and a consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management.

MAS said in a press release that successful applicants had met all relevant prudential requirements and licensing pre-conditions. The four digital banks are expected to commence operations from early 2022.

MAS claims it also took into consideration the eligible applicants’ reviews of the business plans and assumptions underpinning their financial projections arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The central bank added the two selected DFB applicants were clearly stronger than the other eligible DFB applicants. For DWBs, MAS said the selected applicants had met their expectations and were assessed to be demonstrably stronger across the criteria notwithstanding the general high quality of the eligible applicants. Introduced as a pilot, MAS stated it will review whether to grant more DWB licenses in the future.

The Grab-Singtel consortium announced it has appointed Charles Wong as its chief executive of their digital bank and said that it will set up 200 people for the same by end 2021. The team will include roles in product, data, technology, risk, finance, and compliance.

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