While these new channels tend to be aimed more at mass-affluent/retail clients rather than private banks, the development of digital-only platforms does raise questions about the value-add propositions that private banks need to offer to stay competitive.
Standard Chartered Singapore’s head of private, business and consumer banking, Dwaipayan Sadhu, has been made CEO of the lender’s digital bank venture with NTUC’s enterprise arm, reports said. (NTUC is “National Trades Union Congress”.)
The digital bank, called SC Bank Solutions, will be the UK-listed bank’s second separately licensed digital bank in Asia, after Mox Bank in Hong Kong (source: fintechnews.sg, others). Standard Chartered’s wholly-owned subsidiary SCBSL will take a 60 per cent stake in the venture, while BeaPlus, a holding company controlled by NTUC Enterprise, will take a 40 per cent stake.
In August last year, SCBSL was the first and, so far, only bank to be awarded the “Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank” status from the Monetary Authority of Singapore; it was later given enhanced SRFB privileges, giving it the opportunity to win an additional full bank licence.
This development reflects how banks are pushing into "pure-play" digital models, tapping demand from younger, supposedly more tech-savvy consumers. Goldman Sachs, for example, has pushed into a different field with its "Marcus" offering in the UK. These new channels tend to be aimed at more retail/mass-affluent than private banking clients.
This publication has asked Standard Chartered for details and may update in due course.
Within a different digital sphere, Standard Chartered has joined an international alliance of banks, fintech firms and crypto organisations to drive best practices for managing digital assets such as bitcoin. The UK-listed bank is a member of the Global Digital Finance (GDF) Patron Board.
In early August, Standard Chartered announced that consumer, private and business banking pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June had surged by 42 per cent year-on-year to $1.821 billion. For the UK-listed banking group, underlying pre-tax profit was $2.682 billion, rising by 37 per cent.