MAS accepting applications for digital bank licences, Latest Business News - The New Paper

MAS accepting applications for digital bank licences

This article is more than 12 months old

At least one of the parties in a group applying for Singapore's new digital bank licences must have a track record of three or more years operating a business in the technology or e-commerce field.

Such a party must hold at least 20 per cent of total issued shares in the proposed digital bank.

These are among several criteria spelt out yesterday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as it announced it is now accepting applications for the new licences until Dec 31.

Successful applicants will be unveiled in mid-2020 and are expected to start business by mid-2021, the regulator added.

It will be issuing up to two licences for digital full banks, which can take retail deposits, and three for digital wholesale banks, which take deposits from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other non-retail segments. Applicants will be assessed for their value proposition, incorporating the innovative use of technology to serve customer needs and reaching under-served segments of the market here, differentiating them from existing banks.

Analysts said this could mean market segments such as millennials, SMEs and start-ups.

"The applicant must provide a five-year financial projection of the proposed digital bank, which must show a path towards profitability," MAS added.

Applications for full-bank licences are open to companies anchored and headquartered in Singapore on top of being controlled by Singaporeans, while a digital wholesale bank applicant can be controlled by Singaporeans or foreign entities.

The digital banks will be subject to the same regulatory requirements as existing banks, including rules relating to technology risks, money-laundering and terrorism financing, said MAS. - THE STRAITS TIMES