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July 31, 2019

Taiwan issues three virtual banking licences

Taiwan has issued three virtual banking licences, a first such move by the Asian island nation to lure new players in the domestic banking sector, reported Reuters.

It comes at a time when several other Asian nations have started issuing digital licences to boost competition.

According to the report, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission awarded the licences to three consortiums comprising Taiwan and Japanese investors.

One of these licences was secured by LINE Financial Taiwan, a consortium led by Japanese app operator LINE Group and including Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered.

The remaining two licences were won by Next Commercial Bank that is led by Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom, and Rakuten International Commercial Bank.

Initially, the commission intended to issue two licences. However, it awarded three after assessing the different business models of the applicants.

Currently, no additional virtual bank licences are in the pipeline, the news agency added citing FSC statement.

Earlier this month, Singapore announced plans to issue up to five digital bank licences. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) intends to invite applications next month.

Hong Kong granted four such licences in May to further open up the sector. South Korea also issued online-only bank licences.

In the near future, more Asian nations including Thailand and Malaysia are expected to issue digital banking licences.

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