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Singapore shortlists 14 applicants for digital bank licences

Singapore shortlists 14 applicants for digital bank licences
A view of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's headquarters in Singapore June 28, 2017 - REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
SINGAPORE: Singapore's central bank has shortlisted 14 applicants for up to five digital bank licences on offer in the city-state's biggest banking liberalisation in two decades.

The shortlist, out of the 21 applications received, comprises five digital full bank applicants and nine digital wholesale bank applicants who will now move to the next round of the selection process, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Thursday.

It expects to award the licences by the end of the year.

MAS did not provide names of the shortlisted applicants. It aims to issue up to two retail licences and three wholesale licences.
Applicants who had earlier said they bid for the retail licences included: a venture of ride-hailer Grab and Singapore Telecommunications; internet firm Sea; a group headed by gaming firm Razer; another led by consumer entrepreneur Ron Sim; and fintech firm MatchMove's consortium with Singapura Finance.

The MAS said in a statement applicants will next be shortlisted based on criteria such as their value proposition and business model, and ability to manage a prudent and sustainable digital banking business.
It said it has asked the applicants to review the business plans and assumptions underpinning their financial projections, taking into account the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reuters had reported this month that the bidders would have to factor in how the outbreak has impacted their funding and profitability plans.