DBS Vickers Granted Singapore License for Digital Asset Brokerage

DBS Vickers (DBSV), the brokerage arm of DBS Bank, has received formal approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token services as a Major Payment Institution.

The in-principle approval was issued in August as Singapore, one of the most crypto-friendly jurisdictions in the world, authorizes firms under the Payment Services Act (PS Act). The license comes as an important milestone for DBS as it executes its asset digitalization strategy.

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Head of Capital Markets at DBS and Chair of the DBS Digital Exchange, said: “Having received formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in tapping into the growing potential of digital assets as an investment class.

“This marks another significant milestone in our ability to provide integrated solutions across the digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenisation, listing, trading and custody. We believe that DBSV’s licence, coupled with recent enhancements to DDEx such as round the-clock operations since August, could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months and accelerate growth momentum for DBS’ digital asset ecosystem.”

DBSV, a member of DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), was directly supporting asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through DDEx, having started operating round-the-clock from 16 August onwards.

The platform enables members to trade on the exchange at any time and gain exposure to opportunities and risk arising from cryptocurrency spot prices. The venue is a members-only exchange for Institutional Investors and Accredited Investors.

The digital asset exchange has already onboarded circa 400 investors by end of June 2021, amounting to SGD 180 million of total trading value in Q2 2021. DBS has over SGD 130 million in digital assets in its custodial services.

Since its launch last December as a members-only bourse, DDEx has seen good demand from clients, including corporate and institutional investors, accredited individuals, and family offices. It expects to double the number of participants on DDEx to 1,000 and to grow its base by 20-30% annually for the next three years as investments in digital tokens gain greater acceptance.

In June, DDEx listed its inaugural Security Token Offering in the form of an SGD 15 million digital bond. Prior to that, DBS Private Bank rolled out Asia’s first bank-backed trust solution for cryptocurrencies.