Grab Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: GRAB) and Singtel confirmed that GXS Bank Pte. Ltd., their digital bank joint venture, and a consortium of Malaysian investors including Kuok Brothers Sdn. Bhd has been awarded a fully digital banking license in Malaysia. The license will be awarded after fulfilling all of Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulatory conditions.
The digital bank joint venture would own a 55.45% interest in the proposed Malaysia digital bank, which will be overseen by Ms. Pei Si Lai. Ms. Pei Si Lai is a financial services industry veteran with over 25 years of expertise. Ms. Lai has been named the company's CEO candidate and will lead a specialized team tasked with redefining banking for Malaysia's estimated one-in-two underserved or unbanked citizens.
Ms. Lai has substantial experience and strong client-centricity refined over 25 years in retail banking, wealth management, corporate finance, product, and business management, as well as governance, in both local and international markets as CEO designate of the Malaysian digital bank. She previously worked at Standard Chartered in Malaysia as Managing Director and Country Head, Consumer, Private, and Business Banking.
Ms. Lai will gather a team with varied experience in banking and technology to establish the Malaysia digital bank, which will attempt to deliver smooth and secure financial services tailored to match consumer expectations. By launch, around 200 positions are expected to be filled, including those in product and design, data, technology, risk, and compliance.
Furthermore, local micro-SMEs and other financially underprivileged segments, such as gig economy employees, will be able to access a range of financial services through the Malaysia digital bank consortium's digital bank, which will serve them throughout their lifecycle. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in particular are projected to benefit greatly from digital banking. They are the foundation of the Malaysian economy, accounting for over 97 percent of all businesses, providing around 38 percent of national GDP, and employing about half of the working population.