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Since first announcing its digital bank licence initiative in June 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has received “strong interest” from a diverse group of organisations, according to a statement published by the regulator on January 7th, 2020.

The new digital bank licences  – for which 21 groups have submitted applications so far – are an integral part of the regulator’s effort to open up the banking industry to fresh competition in Singapore.

As reported by Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Bloomberg, the MAS “plans to issue as many as five new digital bank licenses to non-banks to strengthen competition”. These licences follow the lead of similar permits issued by the regulator in the U.K. and Hong Kong over the past few years.

As the MAS gets ready to issue the digital bank licences in mid-2020, we expect the evolution of the financial services space to accelerate in Southeast Asia over the next few months. For instance, the digital lending market in the region is expected to reach $110 billion by 2025, according to a report by Bain & Co., Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.

Click here for the full list of organisations – ranging from a property giant to Chinese FinTech firms – that have submitted applications for digital bank licences in Singapore.

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