Grab-Singtel Ramps Up Hiring For Singapore Bank; Plans 2022 Launch

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A new Singaporean digital bank formed in a joint venture between Grab Holdings Inc. and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. will hire 200 people before launching publicly in early 2022, Bloomberg reported.

The new digital bank is coming about after the joint venture won one of two licenses for full digital banks awarded last week (Dec. 4) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Bloomberg reported that Charles Wong, who will be chief executive of the new digital bank, said in an online briefing Friday night that the 200 new hires will work in technology in general — and in some cases, financial technology in particular.

Grab is a major player in Singapore’s ride-hailing sector. Bloomberg quoted Reuben Lai, senior managing director of the company’s FinTech operation, as having said, “There is no other platform in Singapore that delivers daily essential services to the lives of our customers, multiple times a week. That gives us a touch-point that enables us to embed financial services.”

In announcing the businesses that won the right to create the new banks, Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director Ravi Menon said, “MAS applied a rigorous, merit-based process to select a strong slate of digital banks. We expect them to thrive alongside the incumbent banks and raise the industry’s bar in delivering quality financial services, particularly for currently underserved businesses and individuals.”

The winners of the two full-bank licenses were among 14 applicants eligible for one of those licenses or for licenses to operate digital wholesale banks, MAS reportedly stated.

The major difference between the two licenses, Bloomberg reported, is that the wholesale licenses will only allow operators to interact with business customers, while the broader licenses will allow interaction with retail customers as well.

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