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StanChart Seeks Local Partners In Hopes To Apply For Digital Banking License In S'pore

Asean and South Asia CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Judy Hsu noted, in a The Straits Times (ST) report, that in the bank’s move to apply for a digital banking license in Singapore, the “benefits outweigh the risks”.

The bank is “clearly interested”, it stated, and has already teamed up with non-banking partners to court a digital banking license in Hong Kong.

It’s been revealed that they are in talks with potential partners.

She said that one of the key considerations in their search for a long-term partner in Singapore is like-mindedness, if the bank decides to apply for a digital banking license in Singapore.

Applications are open until 31 December.

This new digital offering is targeted at millennials, a smaller segment of the bank’s market share.

Ms Hsu also shared that StanChart is looking to “disrupt” itself with the investment of new business models and partnerships.

Earlier in June, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has laid out its regulations for digital bank licenses.

Only companies headquartered in Singapore, and managed by Singaporeans, can apply for the two digital full bank licenses.

As StanChart originates from Britain, which has no free-trade agreement with Singapore, it is unable to apply for the license.

The bank is required to link up with a local partner in order to apply for one of the licenses.

However, this does not stop the bank from offering digital services in the region, as Ms Hsu cited how StanChart is launching such options in India.

StanChart plans to have Singapore as its Asean hub while the other hubs will be set up in Britain and Hong Kong.

The bank will join companies like ride-hailing giant Grab and gaming peripherals leader Razer, who are also considering a slice of the emerging fintech pie in Singapore.

Chinese healthcare firm Ping An is also looking into applying for one of Singapore’s new digital banking licenses.

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