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Malaysia may have virtual banks by 2020

Malaysia is expected to set up its first new or virtual bank in the 3rd quarter of 2020 following the central bank Bank Negara Malaysia announcing guidelines for grant of virtual banking licenses. Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) said virtual banks would become a reality in the country on the basis of experiences from other jurisdictions, lessons gathered from more than 50 existing virtual banks, as well as the interest from various parties that the industry players had come across. It said Malaysia needed to step up the pace to catch up with Europe, the US, Australia, and even Hong Kong, which allowed neo banks to be established in their respective jurisdictions. In addition, with Malaysia’s leading role in the Islamic finance industry, particularly the regulatory maturity in the sector, the country is primed to have the first virtual Islamic bank by next year, as it has the best talents, experiences and resources, it said.

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