Seize eyes Singapore banking license as regulator research digital banks
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Photos
Seize is near hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential and is gearing as much as apply for a digital-only financial institution license in Singapore if the banking regulator decides to open up the sector, stated the folks, who declined to be recognized as they weren’t approved to talk to the media.
Singapore-headquartered Seize’s curiosity in what could be its first foray into banking has not been reported earlier than.
Seize declined remark.
When requested for a response, the Financial Authority of Singapore (MAS) referred Reuters to its feedback issued final month when it stated it was finding out the potential for permitting “digital-only banks with non-bank parentage” into its market.
Hong Kong, Singapore’s fierce monetary centre rival, started issuing licenses earlier this yr.
A possible entry by Seize — backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group — and others would mark the largest shake-up in years for a market dominated by DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese language Banking Corp and United Abroad Financial institution.
The MAS may decide within the subsequent couple of months on whether or not to confess digital-only banks with non-bank parentage, in addition to the eligibility candidates, the folks stated.
Town-state’s banking regulator is prone to problem solely two to 3 licenses within the first part, two of the folks stated.
The curiosity from Seize underscores how Asia’s non-banking companies are eager to problem conventional banks by leveraging their know-how and their person databases to supply banking providers to retail clients and small companies.
Securing a digital banking license in Singapore may assist seven-year-old Seize to learn from its present knowledge on transport actions, cost transactions and client behaviour, the folks stated.
Final yr, Seize teamed up with Japan’s Credit score Saison Co Ltd to supply loans in Southeast Asia.
International fintech gamers are amongst different teams anticipated to hunt licenses in Singapore, with a few of them trying to kind joint ventures, stated two of the folks.
Consultants stated a digital banking license may additionally attraction to Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), which is increasing past its conventional service providers into areas corresponding to cellular funds and cybersecurity.
“It’s too untimely to remark however having ventured into cellular monetary providers, we’re open to exploring the feasibility of such a possibility ought to it come up,” a Singtel spokeswoman stated in an emailed response.
In Hong Kong, associates of Alibaba Group and Xiaomi Corp, and consortia led by Commonplace Chartered PLC and BOC Hong Kong Holdings have been amongst those that received the digital-only banking licenses.
“In Hong Kong, the rules have been fairly exact when it comes to what candidates needed to show with a view to get a digital banking license, extra so than in Europe, ” stated Dan Jones, APAC accomplice at consultancy Capco Digital.
“Will probably be attention-grabbing to see whether or not MAS goes down an identical path to Hong Kong … in order that the one individuals who can apply are established firms, somewhat than literal begin ups.”
As in Hong Kong, online-only banks in Singapore are additionally anticipated to launch by providing providers corresponding to financial savings accounts, private loans and journey insurance coverage, two of the folks stated.