Singapore opens applications for new digital bank licences
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is inviting applications for new digital bank licences, reports Jane Connolly.
Up to two digital full bank licences and three digital wholesale bank licences will be issued, with a view to ensuring that ‘Singapore’s banking sector continues to be resilient, competitive and vibrant’.
Applications close on 31 December 2019 and are open to non-bank players, as long as they meet certain eligibility criteria.
MAS will only consider companies that are anchored and headquartered in Singapore and controlled by Singaporeans. They must also meet certain standards concerning business track record, capital commitment, a clear value proposition and a sustainable business model, along with ‘fit and proper’ shareholders, directors and management.
Eligible applicants will be further assessed for the value they bring to under-served segments of the Singapore market, their ability to implement and run the bank, and their growth potential.
There will also be a focus on the contribution made to Singapore’s financial centre, as well as its regional expansion plans.
Successful applicants will be announced in mid-2020 and expected to be ready for business by mid-2021.
Digital full banks will be permitted to take deposits from and provide financial services to retail and non-retail customer segments, while digital wholesale banks will be able to serve SMEs and other non-retail segments.
The new digital banks will be in addition to any that Singapore banking groups may already set up under MAS’ existing regulatory framework.