Singapore issues four digital bank licenses, holds back on one

The Singaporean Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued four digital bank licenses to Alibaba‘s Ant Group, joint bidders Singtel and Grab, and internet services company Sea which will be in effect early 2022. Yet, the applicants still have to fulfil all relevant prudential requirements and licensing preconditions before they are granted their respective banking licenses. While the consortium comprising Grab and Singtel, and Sea have been issued full digital bank licenses; Ant and another consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong, and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management have been given digital wholesale bank licenses. Yet, Singapore headquartered Razer was unsuccessful in securing a license. According to MAS, the evaluation of the application hinges on the business model value proposition, the innovative use of technology to serve customers, ability to manage a sustainable digital banking business, and growth prospects and contributions to Singapore’s financial industry.