Opening a bank account in Singapore might not be as easy as you might believe in some cases, however we can assist. Most investors opening companies in Singapore will require a local bank account, however banks in SG have strict criteria related to KYC and risk when it comes to new clients.
|Types of bank accounts||
Personal, corporate, non-resident and merchant accounts
Document requirements for natural persons
|Application form , ID/passport copy, residence permit for foreign citizens, a vaild email address, and a recent utility bill are required to open a bank account in Singapore|
|Application form, company’s business profile, ID/passport copy of a company representative, specimen signature of the appointed person|
|Address requirements for foreign citizens (YES/NO)||
YES, foreign citizens must have a local address to open a bank account in Singapore
|Requirements to travel to Singapore (YES/NO)||YES, foreign citizens are required to travel to Singapore, if they do not reside in the city-state. They can also appoint a representative to start the formalities, however, they still need to come to the city-state to complete the account opening process.|
|Remote bank opening possibility (YES/NO)||
Yes, it is possible to open a Singapore bank account with most banks for foreigners included, however, these must be in the
|Timeframe for opening the bank account (approx.)||
Approximately one week
|Legal representative requirement (YES/NO)||No, however, such services are in place|
|Services attached to the accounts||Debit/credit card, financing/loans, preferential fees, online banking services|
|Types of banks to open accounts with||National banks and branches of foreign banks|
|Merchant bank account availability (YES/NO)||YES, e-commerce companies can set up merchant accounts|
|Foreign currency availability (YES/NO)||YES, among which EUR and USD|
|Access to online banking services (YES/NO)||YES, online banking is available in Singapore|
|Advantages of a Singapore bank account||Possibility to work with some of the largest banks in the world, one of the most modern infrastructures in Southeast Asia, quick setup of a bank account in Singapore|
|Bank account opening service availability (YES/NO)||YES, we offer corporate bank account opening services|
Singapore is one of the most developed cities in Asia-Pacific and it is also a famous financial center. It hosts local and foreign financial institutions. Singapore has a pro-business legislation and a very modern legal framework regulating the banking sector. Singapore is home to the biggest Southeastern Asian banks DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and the United Overseas Bank. However, many important foreign banks have opened branches in Singapore.
What types of banks operate in Singapore?
In 1999 when Singapore liberalized its banking sectors, the number of foreign banks coming to the city-state has boomed. Nowadays, the following types of banks are thriving in Singapore:
- – local banks in a small number;
- – foreign banks;
- – wholesale banks;
- – offshore banks;
- – merchant banks.
All banks fall under the supervision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. If you want to open a bank account in Singapore, our team of incorporation experts can help you. Furthermore if you need assistance related to taxes in Singapore, our experts are at your disposal.
How to choose a Singapore bank to open an account with in 2023
Singapore is one of the most important financial centers in Southeast Asia, and it hosts numerous local and foreign banks that operate through branch offices, which means that a natural person or business owner has plenty of financial institutions to choose from.
There are various aspects to consider when deciding to open a bank account in Singapore and the bank is among the most important. As mentioned above, one can choose between domestic and large foreign banks which operate here. For those seeking to open accounts in specific currencies should know that Singapore banks usually offer this option.
When choosing a bank, one should take into account the bank account opening and administration fees, the possibility of setting up the account online or remotely, as well as the services associated with it.
If you plan to open a company in Singapore and need assistance in setting up a bank account for it, our local consultants can help you. We can also open the account on your behalf based on a power of attorney if you don’t want to come to the city-state during the early stages of the procedure.
What types of services do Singapore banks offer at the level of 2023?
Singapore banks provide the usual personal banking services as all banks in the world do, but additionally there are certain specific services these banks offer. Among these services there are the Supplementary Retirement Scheme and the CPF Investment Scheme accounts for investors. Local banks in Singapore are interconnected thus providing a shared ATM system that enables clients of any of the banks to withdraw money without additional fees. However, at the level of 2023, opening a bank account in Singapore is also possible online for local residents.
Many of the foreign banks with branches in Singapore are required to apply for a special license before providing their services. However, all banks are listed by the Monetary Authority in Singapore. Some companies and for certain commercial operations need to apply for a license in order to be carried out. The good news is that Singapore has established a business license portal with the intention of providing a user-friendly and effective licensing experience. For guidance in setting up a company in Singapore and obtaining such licenses, you can rely on us.
You can read details on how to open a bank account in Singapore in the scheme below:
What are the available types of bank accounts in Singapore?
There are various types of bank accounts one can select from when deciding to set it up in Singapore. Among these, the most popular ones are:
- the personal bank account which can be set up for receiving the salary and day-to-day expenses;
- the corporate bank account which is available for companies operating in Singapore and outside it;
- merchant accounts can also be set up by e-commerce companies running in Singapore;
- non-resident bank accounts are also available for those do not want to relocate here.
Foreign people can open a bank account in Singapore without being physically present by submitting an online application. Foreign citizens that do not live in Singapore may open saving bank accounts with certain banks, while foreign investors may be allowed to open trading or investment bank accounts in Singapore. Foreign citizens relocating to Singapore have the possibility to open a bank account before moving.
If you want to open a bank account in Singapore, we can provide details on the information you need to submit with the selected institution.
The Banking Act in Singapore
The Banking Law is comprised in the Commercial Code in Singapore. Singapore has always tried to welcome both local and foreign investors wanting to set up financial institutions in the city-state. All banks and other financial institutions fall under the regulation and supervision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. According to the Banking Law, all financial institutions in Singapore are required to apply for a banking license before starting operating. The Singapore Banking Act also allows the incorporation of merchant banks that provide corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions services and portfolio investment management services.
How to open a personal bank account in Singapore in 2023
Citizens, permanent residents and foreign citizens with employment visas can open current bank accounts in Singapore in 2023. The required documents to open a bank account inSingapore are: an application form released by the bank, the passport, employment pass and an e-mail address. Individuals are advised to contact the bank before going to open the bank account and ask if any additional documents are required.
Banks in Singapore have specific requirements for opening bank accounts and charge different fees. Clients will usually receive a card with a PIN that can be used for online banking operations. At the level of 2023, some banks may have changed their fees, however, many of them also offer various facilities, such as no fee operations when completing certain tasks. Another novelty we may refer to is the higher number of people using online banking to pay bills. As a matter of fact, online transactions are gaining popularity to traditional cash payments.
We invite you to watch our video on how to open a bank account in Singapore:
Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore
One of the first steps of company registration in Singapore is opening the corporate bank account where the share capital will be deposited. There are many banks a Singapore company can set up bank accounts with, however their charges and services differ. Our Singapore company formation consultants can assist foreign investors seeking to open corporate bank accounts with the banks they choose.
Most Singapore banks will require for the company director or other representative to open the account, which is one of the most important aspects to consider when opening a Singapore company. The following documents must be filed with the bank in order to open a bank account in Singapore:
- – duly complete forms provided by the bank;
- – a resolution passed by the management of the company which will state the opening of the account as well as who will operate it;
- – a certified copy of the resolution mentioned above;
- – a certified copy of the company’s certificate of registration;
- – a certified copy of the company’s business profile;
- – a certified copy of the company’s statutory documents;
- – certified copies of the directors and shareholders.
Resident directors must also submit proof of their address in Singapore. Also, all documents must be prepared by one of the directors or by the company secretary. This is one of the main reasons our company formation representatives in Singapore offer nominee director and secretary services. Companies in the city-state can open bank accounts in Singapore dollars or other currencies.
How to open a bank account online in Singapore
Singaporean banks are known for the great services they offer to clients, which is why many of them allow for the creation of accounts without one having to go to the bank in person. This option is available with most banks in the city-state.
If you want to open a bank account online in Singapore, the different step to complete in the creation of the account is to submit the necessary documents via email with the chosen financial institution. Then, it will be required to schedule an appointment with the bank to pick up the card attached to the account.
One of the most common questions that arises in this scenario is if a foreigner can open a bank account in Singapore and to which the answer is yes, this is possible with most banks. So, if you are interested in either option, feel free to consult with our local consultants.
For foreign investors, we remind that we can also help if they are interested in setting up companies in Singapore.
Merchant bank accounts in Singapore
The number of online businesses has increased substantially in Singapore in the last few years thanks to the facilities offered by the government but also by the fact that many products can be produced locally.
When opening an e-commerce company, there are several additional requirements to complete compared to the creation of a traditional business. Among these, the creation of a website, registration of a domain name and opening of a merchant account are mandatory.
Merchant accounts must be set up in order to process online payments and can be linked to the corporate account of the company. The procedure of opening a merchant bank account in Singapore is not complicated and requires choosing a provider that offers services.
If you want to open a bank account in Singapore for your online business, you can request additional information from our agents. We can also help you open a Singapore company.
The Singapore offshore bank account
Singapore is a reputable business center in which investors can also set up offshore companies. The same goes for the bank accounts of such entities. The main aspect to consider in this case is choosing a financial institution that enables the creation of such accounts.
If you are interested in setting up a Singapore offshore bank account, the steps to follow include:
- choose the bank and the type of account you want opened;
- decide if you want to open the Singapore bank account online or in person;
- draft the documents indicated by the bank and file them.
The Singapore bank account for foreigners
Singapore attracts hundreds if not thousands of foreigners every year. From students to business people and employees, many of them decide to stay in the city-state for at least a few months, case in which having local bank accounts is mandatory.
A foreigner can open bank account in Singapore just like any other resident, however, there is also a difference: the non-resident must set up an appointment with the bank in order to confirm the submission of the documents and sign the papers issued by the bank.
It should be noted that there are no special Singapore bank accounts for non-residents, so the procedure is fairly simple for them, taking a few days to complete.
The main documents to consider when opening a bank account in Singapore as a foreigner are:
- – the passport and Singaporean residence permit;
- – proof of local address through a recent utility bill or lease/rental agreement;
- – reference letter from a bank he/she has another bank account opened with;
- – other documents in accordance with the status of the foreign citizen in Singapore (student, employee, etc.).
It is quite common for Singapore bank accounts for foreigners to be set up with one of the large banks that operate at a global scale.
When it comes to a Singapore bank account for non-residents, there are local banks that enable people who come to the city-state to have such accounts. In order to know which type to choose, it is important to make an important clarification: the main difference between opening an account as a foreigner and as a non-resident is that the second does not have an address or residence permit in Singapore.
If you decide to set up a company in Singapore and need support, please contact us.
The financial sector in Singapore
Singapore was home to more than 130 banks in 2019, which is quite impressive considering the size of the city-state. However, in terms of financial services, the following numbers are provided by Statista.com:
- – in 2019, there were 757 capital markets services licenses;
- – 187 insurance companies were operating in the city-state last year;
- – there were also 27 merchant banks offering their services to Singapore clients;
- – 11 international money brokers were active in Singapore in 2019;
- at the level of 2023, there are more than 110 foregin banks operating in Singapore.
If you want to open a bank account in Singapore in 2023, you can select from some of the largest banks in the world operating here.