Grab-SingTel and Sea awarded digital full bank licences, Ant Group and consortium get digital wholesale bank licences

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·1-min read
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(GRAPHIC: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday (4 December) announced four successful digital bank applicants.

A consortium comprising Grab Holding and Singapore Telecommunications and a wholly owned unit of Sea have successfully applied for the Digital Full Bank (DFB) licence.

Meanwhile, a wholly owned unit of Ant Group and consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong, and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management clinched the Digital Wholesale Bank (DWB) licence.

“The successful applicants must meet all relevant prudential requirements and licensing preconditions before MAS grants them their respective banking licences. MAS expects the new digital banks to commence operations from early 2022,” MAS said.

MAS had announced that it would award banking licences for up to two DFBs and up to three DWBs. It received a total of 14 eligible applications.

On the DWBs, MAS said the two selected applicants met its expectations and were assessed to be “demonstrably stronger” across the selection criteria. MAS has thus decided to award banking licences to the two DWBs.

“As the DWBs are introduced as a pilot, MAS will review whether to grant more of such licences in the future.” MAS said.

On the successful applicants, Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said, “We expect them to thrive alongside the incumbent banks and raise the industry’s bar in delivering quality financial services, particularly for currently underserved businesses and individuals. They will further strengthen Singapore’s financial sector for the digital economy of the future.”

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