Open bank account in Singapore for not-residents

Singapore is an important financial and commercial center of the Asian region. For the past few years, it has become a financial hub for different companies. All major international banks, including three largest banks (DBS Group, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank), have branches in Singapore. In Singapore there are more than 100 commercial banks and 40 branches of international banks. With this variety of banking institutions, any company or individual can be sure to find a banking product that suits best for each needs. Services are generally excellent due to huge competition between institutions. Many banks offer automated and modern services. All banks provide internet banking and besides, payments can be done by telephone.

Singapore banking sector is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore which is responsible for issuing licenses to commercial banks operating in Singapore. All Singapore commercial banks shall be licensed and shall act under the Banking Act.

Banking sector in Singapore is stable, reliable, modern and well-capitalized. Singapore is an attractive country for non-residents and expats seeking for development of their business, securing funds and managing companies in innovative sectors. There are full service banks, wholesale and offshore banks in Singapore.

The official currency of Singapore is Singapore dollar. All large banks in Singapore open accounts in major currencies, including US dollars, Euro, British Pounds.

How can I open a business bank account in Singapore?

Together with company formation in Singapore, clients think about opening a business bank account with one of Singapore banks. Opening a bank account in a local bank is a convenient way for doing business in the country, and for bookkeeping purposes. However, overseas companies are equally free to access Singapore banks.

In order to open a business bank account in Singapore, a company should present valid and updated corporate documents. Further, banks usually request identification documents for each individual having authority to act on behalf of such company. Corporate clients are required to be represented by directors (no representative with power of attorney is allowed).

Is it possible to open a bank account online for non-residents in Singapore?

Singapore is on the biggest financial center. It welcomes overseas clients from any country. Some banks apply more detailed AML/KYC procedure to offshore companies due to strict anti-money laundering regulation. Besides, it is not possible to find a bank in Singapore that will not require a personal presence in the bank on the date of account opening. It is possible to send documents by email for preliminary verification. Corporate clients are required to be represented by directors (no representative with power of attorney is allowed). Compared to requirements set to local clients, Singapore banks may ask for more documents to be presented for account opening. So, the AML/KYC procedure is rather strict. The term of account opening in Singapore is 4-6 weeks.

What are the benefits of opening a bank account in Singapore?

Singapore is a popular destination not only for global players, but for innovative businesses and startups, high-net worth individuals, investors, expats. Its perfect business environment gives numerous advantages:

  • Singapore is an international banking sector and its major banks are well-capitalized;
  • Singapore banks require a small minimum deposit requirement (usually starting from 2,000 USD);
  • This country has top banks that provide secure, reliable and modern services that cover any possible needs;
  • Overseas clients may open bank accounts in Singapore;
  • Most banks offer multi-currency accounts and freedom to move funds across the world;
  • Some banking services are automated and accounts can be managed online through internet banking;
  • Singapore banks provide high quality customer services;
  • Singapore banks may open bank accounts to innovative, companies in fintech sector.

What type of accounts is it possible to open in Singapore?

Clients of Singapore banks may open current, savings and fixed deposit accounts. Current accounts are used for day-to-day banking. Most of the banks require to maintain a minimum deposit which is rather low (the minimum deposit in UOB Bank is 1,000 USD, in OCBC Bank – 3,000 USD, in DBS Bank – 2,200 USD). It should be noted, however, that certain banks in Singapore will set the minimum deposit requirement after a bank reviews applicant’s documentation. So, it is not possible to know the deposit amount in advance. Monthly charges apply to current accounts. Some online accounts are offered with no additional fee.

What are the requirements for opening a bank account in Singapore?

If a client is an overseas person or company, personal meeting with a bank officer is required. Usually, a company shall be represented by one of its directors. Banks request the following documents:

  • Passport or ID;
  • Proof of residence, including utility bill, bank statement, driver’s license;
  • Proof of origination of funds;
  • Recent bank statement and letter of reference from current bank.

Corporate clients present the following documents:

  • Corporate documents, including articles of association, incorporation certificate;
  • Letter of authorization;
  • Certificate of incumbency;
  • Letter of introduction;
  • Documents confirming beneficial ownership;
  • Passport or ID of directors and shareholders.

All documents should be in English or accompanied by notarized translation into English.

Corporate clients shall also fill in questionnaire about its business, customers, annual turnover.

What are the major banks in Singapore?

The central bank is the Monetary Authority of Singapore which monitors banks operating in Singapore and is also responsible for issuance of payment institution and banking licenses to companies.

Commercial banks in Singapore are:

  • Bank of Singapore
  • DBS Bank
  • Far Eastern Bank
  • Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
  • UOB Bank
  • ANZ Singapore
  • Citibank Singapore
  • HSBC Singapore
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • ABN Amro

How can I close an account in Singapore?

If you want to close your account, it can be easily done online upon termination notice. The account holder is free to return a minimum deposit secured in the account. Before the account is closed, it is required to pay all outstanding fees. Available funds can be transferred to any account, whether in Singapore or other country.

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