Chinese fintech giant Ant Group is behind one of the four successful applicants for Singapore’s first round of digital banking licenses.
On 4 December the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that four applicants had successfully applied for digital banking licenses in the South-east Asian city-state.
One of these applicants is Digital Wholesale Bank (DWB), which is backed by a wholly owned subsidiary of Ant Group and a consortium comprised of Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Cooperative Equity Investment Fund Management.
MAS said that the new digital banks are set to commence operations in early 2022, with DWB to focus on servicing small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore.
The awarding of the licenses comes after MAS first announced its digital bank framework in June 2019, giving non-bank digital players the opportunity to provide digital banking services.
Ant Group is far from the only Chinese tech company to pursue digital banking ambitions in Singapore, with ByteDance and e-commerce platform Zall Smart Commerce also backing other applicants.