StanChart Inches Closer to Singaporean Digibank After New Classification by MAS - Fintech Singapore

Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited (SCBSL) has been awarded enhanced Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank (SRFB) privileges by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), indicating that it is making moves for a second digital-only bank after its launch of Mox. The Mox virtual bank is among the eight entities that were granted a virtual banking license last year by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The bank was also reported to have hired digibank expert Alex Twigg who had co-founded Australian challenger bank Judo.

The enhanced SRFB privileges give the bank the opportunity to secure an additional full bank license to establish a subsidiary to operate new or alternative business models such as a digital-led bank with ecosystem partners.

With the signing of the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (UK-Singapore FTA) on 10 December 2020, SCBSL will be entitled to additional customer service locations on top of the 50 which it is entitled to as an SRFB.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC, said,

Bill Winters

“The UK-Singapore bilateral relationship is longstanding and extensive, and we welcome the signing of the UK-Singapore FTA which enables continuity from the EUSFTA. Singapore is a core market for us and it is a significant honour to be granted enhanced SRFB privileges. We have invested and grown in Singapore to be the global business and operations hub that we are today, and we look forward to playing our part in developing the country’s banking landscape.”

Patrick Lee, CEO, SCBSL, said,

Patrick Lee, CEO, SCBSL

Patrick Lee

“Our commitment to Singapore is clear. As we have done for over 160 years, we will continue to invest in Singapore. We are excited about the opportunity to secure an additional full bank license under the enhanced SRFB framework and are actively developing and exploring the best digital models for consumers in Singapore.”

The bank plans to spend more than US$1 billion over the next five years across key global growth initiatives, including international cyber security operations, new fintech ventures, new digital banking platforms and cloud transformation strategy.

In addition to that, S$8 million is invested to equip its workforce across the career life cycle and aims to train and upskill 8,000 employees here by 2022 through diSCover Lab, a global learning hub to accelerate employees’ reskilling and bolster future competitiveness.

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