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IFast, Chinese partners bid for Singapore digital bank licence

Singapore's iFast Corp. Ltd. and China's Yillion Group and Hande Group have jointly applied for a digital wholesale banking licence in the city-state.

IFast CEO Lim Chung Chun said the partners aim to target Singapore's small and medium-sized enterprise market, which is underserved by banks. The application for a digital bank license was submitted in December 2019.

Yillion runs one of China's four digital banks, while Hande was founded by the former president of Webank, China's first digital bank.

Others that have also applied for a Singapore digital bank licence include a partnership between Singapore-based ride-sharing company Grab Holdings Inc. and telecommunications group Singtel.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in June that it would allow for up to five new digital banks, in addition to those set up by local banking groups. Applicants may choose to bid for a full bank or wholesale licence.