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Singapore banks to be allowed to invest in digital consumer platforms

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THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will streamline regulatory requirements for banks seeking to conduct or invest in digital platforms that would match buyer and sellers, as well as that engage in the online sale of consumer goods and services, said Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat in a speech on Tuesday.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will streamline regulatory requirements for banks seeking to conduct or invest in digital platforms that would match buyer and sellers, as well as that engage in the online sale of consumer goods and services, said Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat in a speech on Tuesday.

These have been determined as "permissible non-financial businesses" that are related or that complement the banks' core financial businesses. The investment in such related businesses will be limited to 10 per cent of a bank's capital funds.

"Banks are currently prohibited from selling consumer goods. But non-bank digital players are now offering a seamless transactional experience in the sale as well as payment of consumer goods," said Mr Heng.

In simplifying the requirements, the MAS says banks will not need to seek prior regulatory approval before conducting or acquiring major equity stakes in these "permissible non-financial businesses". The MAS will also remove detailed requirements such as conducting regular stress tests or external audits.

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