Media Releases
Published Date: 08 May 2003

MAS Awards Eight Wholesale Bank Licences

Singapore, 8 May 2003. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today it was awarding eight Wholesale Bank (WB) licences.

The eight banks awarded the WB licences are:

 i. Bayerische Hypo-Vereinsbank 
 ii. Fortis Bank
 iii. HSBC Republic Bank (Suisse) SA
 iv. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
 v. Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg
 vi. National Bank of Kuwait
 vii. Royal Bank of Scotland
 viii. State Street Bank and Trust Company

MAS assessed applicants for the WB licences using several criteria. This included the bank's financial strength, contributions and developmental commitment to Singapore's financial sector.

With this latest award, MAS has completed the major part of the second phase of the banking liberalization programme, which it announced on 29 June 2001.  That included the award of 20 WB licences over two years, which has now been done.  In addition, all Offshore Banks would be upgraded progressively to WB status over time.  MAS will review and assess developments in the banking industry in deciding on the timing for upgrading the remaining Offshore Banks to WB status.