MoolahSense is the first marketplace lending platform to be granted a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The CMS licence for “Dealing in Securities” was issued today.
This marks a milestone in the development of the FinTech sector in Singapore with MoolahSense being the first platform operator to be approved by MAS to cater marketplace lending services to investors of all classes. An entity regulated by MAS is assessed to be competent and capable of putting in place investor protection measures that meet the high regulatory standards of MAS.
The licence enables MoolahSense to credibly provide opportunities to Retail Investors, High Net Worth Individuals, and Private Funds to access a new asset category of SME loans by applying a full range of exemptions under the Securities and Futures Act. This includes the offering of securities to investors under the Small Offers and Private Placement exemptions.
Early this year, there were reports of CMS licences being issued to other fintech platforms. However, it is important to note that they were limited to Accredited Investors only. In Singapore, Accredited Investors include:
(i) individuals whose net personal assets exceed S$2 million or whose income in the preceding 12 months is not less than S$300,000
(ii) corporations with net assets which exceed $10 million. (As per Section 4A(1)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), Chapter 289).
The MoolahSense team is committed to safeguarding the interests of both investors and SMEs. Following an in-principle approval in October 2016, measures were taken to fulfill all regulatory requirements including payment of a S$100,000 security deposit. In addition, a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process has been implemented to comply with MAS guidelines.
Lawrence Yong, CEO of MoolahSense, remarked: “I believe the regulation of marketplace lending will help set standards that protect the interests of investors and issuers alike, by giving them a clear yardstick to differentiate the credibility of such platforms and the legitimacy of investment products that they offer.”
“At MoolahSense, we have always envisioned the importance of enlarging the financial sphere by increasing participation from retail investors to avail additional sources of finance to SMEs. Thus, we are delighted that investors will now be able to readily access and invest, from as little as $1,000. In so doing, we are prepared to take on increased operational and regulatory standards that comes with serving a much bigger group of investors, as compared to other licensed platforms who solely serve accredited and professional investors.”
To date, MoolahSense has helped raise close to S$ 20 million for over 100 companies, including EpiCentre – an SGX listed company. Since inception, investors who had diversified in a portfolio of SMEs yielded 15% p.a. risk-adjusted returns.
Recently, MoolahSense was listed as one of the top 40 finalists at the Singapore Fintech Awards – organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). Other finalists include Citibank, OCBC Bank, UOB to name a few. The results will be announced on 17 November 2016.
Moving forward, MoolahSense will be scaling up its operations locally by assisting more SMEs raise working and expansion capital to grow their business; providing more innovative financing solutions to SMEs and investment opportunities to investors. With a scalable platform, MoolahSense will also be expanding its footprint overseas, with a focus on introducing the innovation of marketplace lending to South East Asia.