KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Five consortia namely Boost Holdings Bhd-RHB Bank Bhd, GXS Bank Pte Ltd-Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, Sea Ltd-YTL Digital Capital Sdn Bhd, AEON Financial Service Co Ltd-AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd-MoneyLion Inc and KAF Investment Bank Sdn Bhd win Malaysia’s digital bank licences.
In a statement yesterday, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said Boost-RHB Bank, GXS Bank-Kuok Brothers and Sea Ltd-YTL Digital Capital were licensed under the Financial Services Act 2013 (FSA).
Meanwhile, AEON Financial Service-AEON Credit-MoneyLion consortium and KAF Investment Bank were licensed under the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (IFSA).
The central bank said three out of the five consortia were majority-owned by Malaysians namely Boost Holdings and RHB Bank, Sea Ltd and YTL Digital Capital as well as KAF Investment Bank.
BNM said the successful applicants will undergo a period of operational readiness that will be validated by the central bank through an audit before they can commence operations. The exercise may take 12 to 24 months.
Governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the digital banks were expected to further advance financial inclusion and could significantly increase opportunities for society to participate in the economy by overcoming geographical barriers, reducing transaction costs and promoting better financial management.
“Digital banks can help individuals and businesses gain better access to more personalised solutions backed by data analytics. As businesses move online, digital banking also provides a safer and more convenient way to transact,” she added.
BNM said a total of 29 applications received for the digital banking licences were thoroughly assessed pursuant to Section 10 (1) of the FSA, and IFSA1, which require the central bank to consider all the factors in Schedule 5 of the Acts and other relevant policy requirements.
The assessment criteria cover the character and integrity of applicants, nature and sufficiency of financial resources, soundness and feasibility of business and technology plans as well as ability to meaningfully address financial inclusion gaps.
The central bank said applications were assessed on their individual merits as well as relative to other applications based on consistent evaluations of each assessment criteria.
This horizontal review is based on the assessment criteria applied across all applicants to determine the relative strength of each application and identify successful applicants, it added.
BNM noted that four levels of assessment were carried out, supported by a cross-functional technical team, a review team and internal independent observers from BNM’s risk and legal departments.
The final recommendations forwarded to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz were deliberated and endorsed by BNM’s Management Committee.