Axiata-RHB Consortium Named As One Of Key Bidders For BNM’s Digital Banking Licences
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(Image: The Star/Low Lay Phon)

The consortium comprising of Axiata Group and RHB Bank has been named as one of the key bidders to win a digital banking licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). This comes as the central bank prepares to announce the winners of the five licences that are on offer soon.

Just last month, the governor of BNM, Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus had said that the central bank was in the “advanced stage” of assessing the applications for digital banks, and it aims to reveal the winners by the end of March 2022. This will be timed to coincide with the publication of BNM’s annual report.

Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah also said that the evaluation has to be thorough as BNM had received as many as 29 applications – one of which is from the consortium formed between Axiata Group and RHB. Aside from the Axiata-RHB consortium, other notable applicants include Grab, Sunway, BigPay, Genting, as well as the Sarawak state government. Most of these applicants are also comprised of joint ventures and consortiums with other entities.

The application for the digital banking licences first opened in January 2021, and BNM had emphasised from the get-go that it is looking for contenders who can cater to the needs of the unserved and underserved segment. It also highlighted that the new digital banks must be able to help people save for the future, as well as entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, especially with regard to e-commerce.

“We also expect the entry of these digital banks to accelerate the digitalisation of our incumbent banks. This will be good not just for the industry, but also for all of us here as customers of the incumbent banks,” Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah had stressed as well.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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