Grab Holdings Limited and Singtel announced that GXS Bank Pte. Ltd., their digital bank joint venture, and a consortium of Malaysian investors including Kuok Brothers Sdn. Bhd (the Malaysia digital bank consortium) has been selected to receive a full digital banking licence in Malaysia, subject to meeting all of Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulatory conditions.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the digital bank joint venture will hold a 55.45% stake in the proposed Malaysia digital bank, which will be led by Pei Si Lai, a financial services industry veteran with over 25 years of experience. Lai has been appointed its CEO designate and will form a dedicated team that aims to redefine banking for the estimated one in two Malaysians who
are underserved or unbanked.
The digital bank to be established by the Malaysia digital bank consortium is expected to enable local micro-SMEs and other financially underserved segments such as gig economy workers to access a suite of financial services that will serve them through their lifecycle.
In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to be key beneficiaries of digital banking. They form the backbone of the Malaysian economy – representing over 97% of overall business establishments, contributing approximately 38% of national GDP, and employing nearly half of the working population.
To build the Malaysia digital bank that will seek to offer seamless and secure financial services customised to meet consumer needs, Ms. Lai will assemble a team with diverse backgrounds in finance and technology. Over 200 roles are targeted to be filled by launch, including in the areas of product and design, data, technology, risk, and compliance.
Moving forward, the Malaysia digital bank consortium will work closely with Bank Negara Malaysia to meet all of its requirements in order to be awarded the Malaysia digital bank licence. The digital bank joint venture between Grab and Singtel was formed in 2020 and selected to be awarded a full digital banking licence in Singapore.