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Welcome to our world: Singapore banks sound battle cry to digital banks

SINGAPORE banks welcomed the four freshly anointed digital banks in Singapore, with a message that they are also ready for the competition.

Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO at UOB, said: "We congratulate the new digital bank licensees and welcome them to Singapore's progressive and vibrant banking industry.

"Their presence will add to the healthy competition, especially in the area of digital innovations, for the benefit of Singapore's consumers and businesses."

Shee Tse Koon, Singapore country head, DBS, said: "We congratulate the successful applicants and welcome them to our world, where digital banking is already a reality."

He added that the bank's existing retail and SME customers have "seamless access" to effortless digital solutions and services for their everyday needs.

"We believe that the new entrants will spur us all on to do better and we will continue to focus on making banking more intuitive and invisible so that our customers can live more and bank less."

Sunny Quek, head of consumer financial services Singapore, OCBC, said: digital banks are expected to add some colour to the financial space but face an "already hyper-competitive environment".

"We are confident that our single-minded focus on doing the right thing for the customer - aided by the latest in digital technology - will help us come out even stronger with the new competition."

The Grab-Singtel tie-up and consumer Internet company Sea bagged the two coveted digital full-bank licences up for grabs.

The two digital wholesale bank licences were clinched by China's Ant Group; and a consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong, and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management.

The final four that made the cut came from a shortlist of 14 candidates in June, with five digital full banks and nine digital wholesale banks left in the running.

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