Singapore PM Confirms That Central Bank is “Seriously Studying” Virtual Banking License

Singapore PM Confirms That Central Bank is “Seriously Studying” Virtual Banking License

by June 27, 2019

Singapore has already expressed their interest issuing virtual banking licenses, which could potentially admit fintech firms without a traditional bank branch at its core.

Now, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has confirmed that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is actively studying its potential, and may announce something soon, according to South China Morning Post.

“Some other countries have created frameworks to license new players with no banking parentage to set up digital banks, i.e. banks without branches or ATMs,” he said at the Smart Nation Summit on Wednesday.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore is now actively studying whether to allow this in Singapore and hopefully we’ll have something to announce soon.”

Those familiar with the industry perhaps saw the writing on the wall, as Singapore and Hong Kong have been in an ongoing battle for the coveted status of fintech hub of Asia, though ostensibly, both are amicable enough to forge strategic partnerships.

Neighbour across the causeway Malaysia has also embarked on its own virtual banking journey, and revealed that their virtual banking framework is nearly complete.

There are rumours that Grab may throw their hat in the race if and when MAS releases the framework for their virtual banking license, along with Singtel. Meanwhile, the virtual bank Revolut has already established itself in Singapore, under a different licensing framework.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons