MAS announced that it will award Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank (SRFB) privileges to Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited, allowing it to operate additional places of business. With effect from August 03, 2020, Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited will be able to operate up to 50 places of business. In addition, MAS announced that it will enhance the SRFB framework to grant, in the future, an SRFB that substantially exceeds the criteria for significant rootedness in Singapore additional privileges, including the ability to establish a separate subsidiary to develop alternative business models.
Under the SRFB framework, which was announced in 2012, qualifying full banks that are significantly rooted in Singapore and from jurisdictions that have a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore are allowed to establish up to 50 places of business, of which up to 35 may be branches. MAS assesses the "significant rootedness" on the basis of a range of quantitative and qualitative attributes. Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited is the first qualifying full bank to qualify for SRFB privileges under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement commitments.
Under the enhanced SRFB Framework, MAS will consider granting an additional full bank license to an SRFB that substantially exceeds the SRFB baseline criteria. This will provide the SRFB with the same flexibility as Singapore-incorporated banking groups to establish subsidiaries, including with joint-venture partners, to operate new or alternative business models such as a digital-only bank. The enhanced SRFB Framework will strengthen the ability of SRFBs to complement local banks as anchors to the financial system in Singapore. To determine if an SRFB substantially exceeds the baseline criteria, MAS will consider a range of additional attributes of rootedness in Singapore. These include full subsidiarization of banking business operations in Singapore; significant proportion of global key appointment holders and business heads based in Singapore; and firm commitment to the financial stability and development of Singapore in the long term. SRFB privileges, including the award of the additional full bank license, will continue to be offered only under Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements that contain SRFB commitments.
Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, Foreign Banks, SRFB Framework, Standard Chartered, Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank, MAS
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