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Standard Chartered rolls out digital bank in hot Singapore market




By Reuters | Updated: 01 September  2022

SINGAPORE, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and FairPrice Group on Thursday rolled out their digital bank focusing on Singapore’s retail segment, a move that comes on the heels of digital bank launches by GXS Bank and China’s Ant Group in the affluent city-state.

The companies unveiled Trust Bank — owned 60% by the London-headquartered lender and the rest by Singapore-based supermarket FairPrice Group and its parent NTUC Enterprise — that offers a savings account, credit card, and a family personal accident insurance.

While the local banking sector is dominated by brick-and-mortar giants DBS Group Holdings Ltd (DBSM.SI), OCBC (OCBC.SI), and United Overseas Bank Ltd (UOBH.SI) that also offer digital banking services alongside some companies foraying into pure-play digital banking.

Singapore Telecommunications (STEL.SI) and Grab Holdings on Aug. 31 rolled out Singapore’s first digital bank for the retail market, while China’s Ant Group in June launched a digital wholesale bank, dubbed ANEXT Bank, incorporated in the city-state.

Standard Chartered, FairPrice, and NTUC Enterprise have invested S$400 million ($285 million) in Trust Bank. FairPrice is a part of NTUC Enterprise group of social enterprises.

NTUC Enterprise, meanwhile, is a part of Singapore’s biggest trade union called the National Trades Union Congress. Other social enterprises under NTUC Enterprise own and operate shopping malls and pharmacies in the city.

($1 = 1.4014 Singapore dollars)