DUBAI: The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has given its approval in principle for a new digital banking platform, backed by state-owned holding company ADQ, to launch operations, the ADQ announced on Friday.
The move comes after the launch last year of a neobank backed by YAP, the first independent digital banking platform in the United Arab Emirates, based in Dubai.
Some UAE banks have launched their own digital banking offerings in recent years aimed at advanced and younger users, such as LIV by Emirates NBD and Mashreq Neo by Mashreq Bank.
ADQ and investment holding company Alpha Dhabi will hold a combined 65% stake in the bank called “Wio”.
Other shareholders are UAE telecom operator Etilasat, which will own 25%, and First Abu Dhabi Bank, with a 10% stake, he said.
The total capital invested in Wio is 2.3 billion dirhams ($626.26 million) plus in-kind contribution.
Wio will soon launch a beta version that will initially serve small and medium-sized businesses, ADQ said.
($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirhams)
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)