KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Some 40 parties have registered their interest with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to apply for digital banking licences, its governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said.

The central bank is expected to award the licences in the first quarter of 2022, she told a press conference to announce Malaysia’s fourth quarter (Q4) 2020 Gross Domestic Product performance, which was held virtually today.

Nor Shamsiah said five digital banking licences may be issued to qualified applicants.

“In our policy paper, we have mentioned that the digital bank are expected to introduce innovative application of technology that can contribute to the financial wellbeing of Malaysians, in particular emphasis given to ability and prospect of applicants to address the financial needs of the underserved and unserved customers segments,” she added.

In December 2020, BNM issued the Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for digital banks that forms part of the series of measures adopted by the bank to enable innovative application of technology in the financial sector.

The exposure draft outlines the proposed framework for the licensing of digital banks to conduct either conventional or Islamic banking business in Malaysia offering banking products and services.

The central bank has set June 30, 2021 as the deadline for submission of applications for the digital banking licences.


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