China-based Ant Group, a fintech giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, announced it had launched a digital wholesale bank incorporated in Singapore, named ANEXT Bank.
ANEXT received permission from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to commence business on June 2, both entities said in a joint statement.
The move marks one of Ant Group’s most significant overseas pushes since Chinese regulators derailed its $37 billion IPO in late 2020.
Towards the end of 2020, Ant Group obtained one of Singapore’s first digital wholesale banking licenses at the end of 2020 letting it serve large clients, including corporations and financial institutions.
Sopendu Mohanty, the Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, said this marked yet another milestone in Singapore’s journey of digital bank development, a strategic plan to ensure the banking sector remained progressive, vibrant, and globally competitive.
A venture of fintech and ride-hailing firm Grab and technology firm Sea won Singapore’s digital full bank licenses in 2020, allowing the Singapore-based firms to directly take deposits and offer services locally to retail and corporate customers.
Led by banking veteran Toh Su Mei, ANEXR will construct an open framework for financial institutions in collaboration with Proxtera, a local entity initiated by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority and MAS.
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