BNM receives 29 applications for digital bank licences

Key Contact:
Lee Ai Hsian

On 2 July 2021, Bank Negara Malaysia (“BNM”), the Central Bank of Malaysia , announced that it has received 29 applications for a digital bank licence under the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013, following a 6-month application period, which ended on 30 June 2021.
According to BNM’s statement, the applicants comprise a diverse range of parties including banks, industry conglomerates, technology firms, e-commerce operators, FinTech players, cooperatives and state governments.
According to, the following are some of parties that have submitted bids to BNM for a digital bank licence:
  1. AEON Credit and AEON Financial Service Co Ltd
  2. Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad (Angkasa), its subsidiary, Boustead Holdings and an unidentified insurance brokerage company
  3. Axiata Group Bhd, through its subsidiary, Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd, and RHB Bank
  4. BigPay, MIDF and Ikhlas Capital
  5. Grab, Singtel and unidentified Malaysian Investors
  6. Green Packet Bhd, Zico Holdings Inc. and M24 Tawreeq Sdn. Bhd.
  7. iFast Corp, Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, THZ Alliance, Lee Thiam Wah (founder and major shareholder of 99 Speed Mart Sdn. Bhd.) and Yillion Fintech Pte Ltd
  8. ManagePay Berhad, Trustgate Berhad, Crescent Capital Sdn. Bhd. and RichWorks International Sdn. Bhd.
  9. Paramount Corp Bhd, Star Media Group Bhd, RCE Capital Bhd, Prosper Palm Oil Mill Sdn Bhd and a technology partner
  10. Pertama Digital Bhd and Crowdo Holdings Pte Ltd
  11. PUC Bhd, two state governments and an unidentified Malaysian conglomerate
  12. Sunway Bhd, LinkLogis Inc and Bangkok Bank
According to BNM, successful applicants that meet all prudential criteria will be expected to contribute towards greater financial inclusion by offering products and services to address market gaps in the underserved and unserved segments. This includes promoting suitable and affordable financial solutions by leveraging on innovative application of technology.
BNM has indicated that up to five licences may be issued and notification of successful applications will be made in the first quarter of 2022.
Alert by Lee Ai Hsian (Partner) of the Banking and Finance Practice of Skrine.

This alert contains general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor an expression of legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such.