Grab, Singtel and Ant Group among four chosen by Singapore for digital banking license. The Singapore Telecommunications, Ride-hailing business Grab and the internet portal company Sea Ltd are among the four applicants chosen to run Singapore’s first digital banks, making it the biggest banking shake-up in the city-state in two decades.
An entity wholly-owned by Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Group also won licenses, Singapore’s banking regulator said on Friday. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said “The successful applicant must meet all relevant prudential requirements and licensing pre-conditions before MAS grants them their respective banking licenses.”
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), also said it applied a “rigorous, merit-based process” to select a strong slate of digital banks. As these digital banks start their pilot operations, MAS said it will review whether more companies could be granted this license.
A total of 21 firms, including TikTok-parent firm ByteDance, had applied to get a digital license, of which 14 met the eligibility criteria, MAS said. Tech giants see a major opportunity in expanding to financial services as a way to supercharge their revenue in the rapidly growing region. The country expects the new digital banks to start operations from early 2022.
[image: Paula Prekopova]