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Two Chinese groups apply for Singapore digital banking licence

Singapore Digital banking licence
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has received 21 applications so far for digital banking licences

Two Chinese groups have separately applied for digital banking licences in Singapore, according to media reports.

Chinese ecommerce firm Zall Smart Commerce Group has formed a consortium with a group of companies to apply for the digital banking licence in Singapore. The consortium includes Japanese trading company Marubeni and Singapore-based Global eTrade Services.

Similarly, China-based real estate developer Greenland Group, through its investment arm Greenland Financial, has formed a consortium to apply for the digital banking licence in Singapore. Greenland Group’s partners include Chinese financing platform MinIPO.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has revealed it has received a total of 21 applications so far from multiple groups. Some of the front runners for the digital banking licence in Singapore include Ant Financial, Sheng Ye Capital’s consortium, Arival Bank, an AMTD-led consortium, Bytedance, and iFast Group.

Recently, Beyond Consortium, led by V3 Group and EZ-Link also joined the race for the digital banking licence in Singapore. The consortium also includes the Singapore Business Federation, Temasek unit Heliconia Capital Management; MSIG Insurance, a subsidiary of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance; and property giant Far East Organisation.

Last year, Singtel Telecommunications also announced that it would apply for a digital banking licence in Singapore through a partnership with Southeast Asian ride-hailing startup Grab. According to media reports, Singtel would hold a 40 percent stake in the consortium, while the remaining 60 percent would be held by Grab.

In June 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore first announced that it will issue two digital banking licences and three digital wholesale banking licences.

The apex bank is expected to announce the name of the successful applicants in June 2020.

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