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Malaysia's CIMB Bank considers applying for Singapore digital bank license

Malaysia-based CIMB Bank Bhd. is considering applying for a digital bank license in Singapore as it seeks to double its market share in the city-state's small- and medium-sized enterprise banking business by 2021, The Business Times reported Oct. 21.

The bank plans to expand its SME business in Singapore by offering revamped products, partnering with businesses and leveraging on Islamic financing solutions to help businesses break into China's halal market, said Yong Jiunn Run, the bank's head of commercial banking. The bank's revenue contributions from the SME segment have grown by 50% in the last five years, he added.

Meanwhile, the bank is considering applying for a digital bank license in Singapore. Ian Chan, CIMB Bank Singapore's co-head of transaction banking and regional head of digital banking, said the bank is evaluating the option but it does not want to get a digital bank license just for the sake of it. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will issue up to two full digital bank licenses and up to three digital wholesale bank licenses.

CIMB Bank is a unit of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.