Looking to open a bank account in Singapore?

Whether you are a foreigner or an expat moving to Singapore, opening a bank account in Singapore is a fairly straightforward process. Net-banking has made it easy for people of different backgrounds to open a bank account in Singapore.

The processes for opening savings, business, corporate or investment accounts differ from each other, as Singapore banks offer many options for applicants. Most banks offer comprehensive features like online banking, multi-currency accounts, trade financing, and more. If you are looking for information on how to open a bank account in Singapore, read on-

Procedure to open a bank account in Singapore

Here are some simple steps to open a bank account in Singapore:

  • Decide the type of account you want to open (savings account, recurring account, investment account, etc.)

  • Check the bank’s website for online application details.

  • Visit the bank to meet one of their officers.

  • Complete the account opening form.

  • If possible, provide references to existing account holders at that bank.

  • Submit the form with the necessary documents

  • An officer will carry out a verification process. You will be notified when you delete the proposal form to open your account.

  • Deposit an initial amount into your new bank account!

    General document requirements

    Here are the general requirements that most banks require their applicants to meet:

  • Proof of residence in Singapore – You can use your passport, proof of employment (issued by the local Ministry of Manpower) or a proof of residence (electricity bill, old bank statements)
  • Justification for your bank account requirement – Once you can prove that you have a permanent or temporary residence permit in Singapore, you will need to justify the reasons for your request. This justification can be a work permit, an offer / employment letter or a letter from your educational institute (official letter certified by the local Ministry of Education).

    Some banks offer applicants the option of completing these processes over the Internet. You do not need to be physically present at the bank to complete the application process.

    Online bank account application

    Singapore’s leading banks are the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC). These banks have made it easy for applicants to complete the account opening process over the Internet. You have to visit the website of your selected bank and –

  • Fill out your online application form

  • Upload essential documents

  • The bank will take at least three business days to process your request.

  • Once approved, the bank will mail your account details along with a debit card to your official address.

  • Activate your debit card to start using your account.

    How to open a business / corporate bank account in Singapore

    The process of opening a business / corporate bank account in Singapore is more complicated than opening a personal or savings account. Most banks require the physical presence of account signatories or business directors. The paperwork signing process at most of the major banks in Singapore is rigorous.

    All senior corporate managers must be physically present at the time the corporate bank account is opened. However, in some cases, banks may sanction the signing of documents at a bank branch abroad or in the presence of a notary public. Banks require account signatories to provide these documents:

  • Original and copies of the signatories’ passports (or Singapore IC).

  • Proof of the residential address of the signatories and beneficial owners is also required. Bring the original copies with you and the bank employees will make and collect the Xerox copies themselves.

  • Certified copy of the commercial memorandum and the Bylaws. These copies must be certified by the company secretary or one of the business directors.

  • Certified copy of the company’s company profile from the Registrar of the company. This copy must also be certified by the company secretary or one of the business directors.

  • Certificate of incorporation.

  • Certificate of Resolution that authorizes the application to open an account. This resolution must include authorizations from the signers of the account. Each bank has its unique format for these certificates. The signers must sign the certificate.

  • Board of Directors resolution sanctioning the opening of the account. This document must contain all the names of the signatories of the account. A company secretary can prepare this document.

  • Complete the corporate / business account opening forms provided by the bank of your choice. These forms must be signed by all signers.

  • Bank officials may need additional documents / certifications depending on the case. Each bank has a unique set of requirements regarding the minimum initial deposit, minimum balance, and account fees.

    After evaluating the forms and these documents, bank officials will inform applicants about their future steps.

    Online application for corporate / personal bank account

    For locals, the process of opening a corporate bank account is very straightforward. Foreigners can submit an application online. Once approved, the Bank Officer will assist applicants regarding the account opening process. However, a face-to-face meeting between bank officers and at least two directors is mandatory.

    Also, as Singapore has many foreign banks with banking licenses for full banking services, you have the option to open an account there. As a foreigner in Singapore, if you have a bank account at the same bank in your home country, you can always refer to the criteria for opening a new account at the local Singapore branch. It’s best to look at the value-added services, interest rates, and ATM services available before opening a new account at any bank.

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