Singapore’s Whampoa Group plans to set up a digital bank in Bahrain
- The Singapore-based Whampoa Group plans to set up a digital bank in Bahrain.
- The bank aims to offer a wide range of services, including digital token trading.
- The Whampoa Group has received the initial approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Bloomberg reported that the Whampoa Group, a well-known private family office based in Singapore, intends to set up a digital bank in Bahrain. The bank’s offerings will include continuous payment and settlement services for digital asset companies.
Whampoa Group aims to launch the bank by the end of the year, offering a wide range of banking services such as trading, custody, and asset management of digital tokens, the company said.
Ms. Amy Lee, former Principal Partner at Lee & Lee, a Singapore law firm founded by her father, Lee Kim Yew, and Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his wife, is one of the founders of the investment group.
In addition, another co-founder of the investment group is Mr. Lee Han Shih, who belongs to the business family that played a role in the co-founding of OCBC Bank, Lee Rubber Group and many other companies.
According to a government spokesperson in Bahrain, the country’s central bank has given the Whampoa Group “approval in principle” to the project. It should be noted that this approval is temporary, and the full license will not be issued until all regulatory obligations are met.
In 2018, Bahrain, a small oil producer, received a $10 billion aid package from neighboring Gulf states to prevent a credit crunch. Since then, the country has been actively pursuing the growth of the fintech and finance industry as part of its strategy to diversify and strengthen its non-oil economy.
Referring to this, Whampoa Group CEO Sean Chan shared,
We have been impressed by Bahrain’s strong reputation in the financial services sector, transparent regulatory framework, and continuous pledge to collaborate and innovate.
After the 2022 market downturn and crashes like the FTX exchange, many traditional lenders are reluctant to deal with digital asset companies. Meanwhile, the digital asset sector faced a setback in 2023 due to the collapse of cryptocurrency-friendly banks signature bank (OTC:) and Silvergate Capital (NYSE:) during the banking turmoil in the United States. As a result, the sector has lost access to its 24/7 payments infrastructure.
In 2022, Whampoa Group announced its plan to raise US$50 million (S$67 million) for a cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund and allocate US$100 million to a venture capital fund dedicated to the digital asset sector. Prior to this, the group was involved in a consortium, led by ByteDance, that applied for but was unsuccessful in obtaining a digital banking license in Singapore.
Whampoa Group Plans Digital Bank Singapore has appeared after its debut on Coin Edition.