Monetary Authority of SingaporeThe Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has started accepting applications for new digital bank licences in the country, to boost usage of new technology to provide for underserved sections of the market.

The regulator had announced in June that it will issue up to two digital full bank licences and three digital wholesale bank licences to applicants in the country.

Applicants have until December 31, 2019, to submit their entries for the licence, MAS said in a notice on its website.

The new digital bank licences will be extended to non-bank players to ensure the country’s banking industry remains competitive and resilient, MAS said.

Digital full banks will be allowed to take deposits from and provide a wide range of financial services to retail and non-retail customer segments, while digital wholesale banks will be permitted to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other non-retail segments, it added.

These digital banks are in addition to any digital banks that Singapore banking groups may already establish under MAS’ existing regulatory framework.

The applicants will be assessed on their business track record, will need to have proper shareholders, management, capital commitment, sustainable business model, among other things.

They must also be anchored in Singapore, be controlled by residents and headquartered in the island-nation.

MAS expects to announce the results by mid-2020 and the successful applicants will be expected to commence business by mid-2021.

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by Krishna V Kurup
Senior Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence
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