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Singapore’s Largest Bank Considers Joining the Metaverse

The largest bank in Southeast Asia, the DBS Group Holdings, has revealed plans to join the Metaverse, says a top executive of the organization, Jimmy Ng. The bank’s representative revealed this development in an interview on Friday morning with Asia Nikkei.

DBS Group Holdings’ intentions to enter the Metaverse virtual space agree with the bank’s annual tradition of investing about 700 million USD into tech-based developmental programs. 

DBS Group Holdings has reportedly invested billions of US dollars into AI and cloud computing-related projects. The bank’s representative highlighted that the company has been launching an exploration into virtual space, including the Metaverse.

Ng didn’t give any details about the commercial bank’s intentions. However, he hinted at the possibility of them offering non-fungible collectibles in the digital space. The sale of virtual assets has skyrocketed this year, and the Asian bank sees that as a significant incentive for its Metaverse-exploration idea.

Additionally, the bank’s top official highlighted that the emergence of technologies relating to blockchain technology could significantly mark a significant positive turning point in the cryptocurrency industry.

DBS Group Holdings has yet to provide a platform for cryptocurrency trading to its customers. However, the bank’s CEO maintains his faith that virtual currencies could later retain a value similar to mineral resources like gold.

Increasing Interests of Banks in the Virtual Reality Space

Jimmy Ng’s recent report mirrors the trend the cryptocurrency world has been experiencing within the past few years. Commercial banks globally have continued to show interest in the virtual reality economic space, with Metaverse and NFTs being the most recent interest areas.

Intercontinental financial organizations like the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and JP Morgan have already launched their services into virtual reality assets. Earlier this year, HSBC purchased virtual land on Sandbox, another department in the Metaverse space. 

Financial heavyweight JP Morgan had recently set up a virtual lounge for avatars in the Metaverse. According to reports, the US-based virtual lounge featured images of the firm’s CEO, a tiger, and a winding staircase. 

Siam Commercial, a major financial services institution in Thailand, set up a digital corporate headquarters in the Metaverse. From all indications, these financial institutions’ virtual offerings aim at promoting interaction among customers. 

Meanwhile, other large financial corporations continue to show interest in the possibility of offering financial services on the Metaverse. However, it’s certainly not clear how these firms hope to achieve this feat. 

Singapore’s Sanctions Against Russia

In a related development, Singapore had announced that it was placing economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions prohibit all financial organizations in the country from exchanging services with four banks in the Kremlin.

Additionally, Singapore demands that its banks freeze the assets of the banned Russian financial institutions. 

Speaking about the potential impacts of the sanctions on the bank, Jimmy Ng said that DBS Group Holdings is compliant with all relevant prohibitions against Russian financial institutions. He also mentioned that they agreed with Singapore’s recent moves to establish structures to ensure that Singaporean banks fully comply with the restrictions.

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