The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it has received 21 applications for digital bank licences as at the close of application on 31 December 2019. This comprises 7 applications for the digital full bank (DFB) licences, and 14 applications for the digital wholesale bank (DWB) licences.
In June 2019, MAS had announced that it will issue up to two digital full bank (DFB) licences and three digital wholesale bank (DWB) licences. These new digital banks are in addition to any digital banks that Singapore banking groups may already establish under MAS’ existing internet banking framework.
A DFB will be allowed to take deposits from and provide banking services to retail and non-retail customer segments. A DWB will be allowed to take deposits from and provide banking services to SMEs and other non-retail customer segments.
The digital bank licences will allow entities, including non-bank players, to conduct digital banking businesses in Singapore. These new digital bank licences mark the new chapter in Singapore’s banking liberalisation journey, and ensure that Singapore’s banking sector continues to be resilient, competitive and vibrant.
The new digital bank licences have attracted strong interest from a diverse group of applicants including e-commerce firms, technology and telecommunications companies, FinTechs (such as crowd-funding platforms and payment services providers) and financial institutions. The majority of applicants are consortiums, with entities seeking to combine their individual strengths to enhance the digital bank’s value proposition.
MAS has thanked all interested applicants and stakeholders who have provided valuable comments and feedback on the digital bank framework and application process. MAS will evaluate all eligible applications based on their value propositions including the innovative use of technology to serve customer needs, their ability to manage a prudent and sustainable digital banking business, and their contributions to Singapore’s financial centre.
MAS will announce the successful applicants in June 2020. Successful applicants are expected to commence business by mid-2021.
Date: 8 Jan 2020
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