AMTD Group teams with SME partners ahead of Singa Bank’s launch

AMTD Group, one of Asia’s largest independent investment banks, has revealed three new partnerships which provide a hint at the shape of its Singapore-based digital bank.

The partners all have a heavy focus around serving Asia’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This suggests that the newly named Singa Bank will focus predominantly on SME services.

SMEs contribute just short of SGD 200 billion ($145 billion) to Singapore’s economy,

Yet to bag a licence

Singapore has received a flurry of digital bank licence applications but is yet to reveal which applicants have been successful.

If licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, then ‘Singa Bank’ will be able to tap the country’s SME segment.

It’s a segment which account for an estimated two-thirds of all employment in Singapore. It contributes just short of SGD 200 billion ($145 billion) to the country’s economy, according to Singapore Business Review.

AMTD’s partnerships will cover services such as payroll, mortgage loans, unsecured loans, remittance, and brokerage.

Who are the partners?

One of the Hong Kong-based bank’s partners is GlobalLinker, a Mumbai-based fintech which helps connect SMEs.

The network is designed to help SMEs with their digitalisation and global expansion. The bank says it will deploy this ecosystem across both its Hong Kong-based virtual bank, Airstar, and its yet-to-launch digital wholesale bank in Singapore.

The bank’s other two partners are Funding Societies, a South-East-Asian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform for SMEs, and the Singapore branch of CIMB Bank.

These partners will help AMTD explore digital finance solutions for SMEs across both Singapore and South East Asia.

CIMB specifically brings its banking and capital markets expertise, which will help AMTD develop digital financial services which are both cross-regional, and cross-product.

Funding Societies is part of the AMTD-led consortium behind Singa Bank, which also includes SP Group and Xiaomi.

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