UK bank Standard Chartered is entering into a joint venture deal with the Singapore National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) to launch a digital-only bank.
As Reuters reported on Monday, September 6, the deal will see a Standard Chartered vehicle take a 60% stake in the company, worth $ 107.2 million, with the enterprise arm of the NTUC getting the $ 96 million. of remaining dollars.
It comes after Standard Chartered launched another digital-only banking company, known as Mox, in Hong Kong last year, as FinTech investments were booming in Southeast Asia. A spokesperson for the British bank told Reuters that the decision on the brand of the digital bank in Singapore is still pending.
Standard Chartered was granted a full banking license in Singapore last year. It was one of several companies that showed interest after the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced it was issuing digital banking licenses in the country in 2019.
Read more: Singtel, Grab Team up: Digital banking in Singapore
That year, Singtel, one of Asia’s leading communications technology groups, and Grab, the region’s first super app, formed a digital banking consortium to help people in Singapore who were traditionally left behind. in the banking sector.
Read more: FinTechs Vie for digital banking licenses in Malaysia
As PYMNTS reported earlier this summer, Singapore’s neighbor Malaysia plans to issue its own digital banking licenses next year.
“Malaysia has many characteristics that digital banking players are looking for, with a large population, high smartphone penetration and a young population keen to try new services,” said Shankar Kanabiran, Financial Services Consulting Partner at EY.
Several FinTechs have expressed interest in obtaining one of these licenses, which requires around $ 72 million in capital. That’s a much less stringent requirement than Singapore, which wants banking license applicants with around $ 1.1 billion in paid-up capital for digital banks already in operation, or $ 100 million for digital wholesale banks.