Whether you’re a foreigner or an expatriate who is moving to Singapore, opening a bank account in Singapore is a fairly straightforward process. Net-banking has made it easy for people from different backgrounds to open a bank account in Singapore.

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

Procedure to Open a Bank Account in Singapore

Here are some easy steps to open a bank account in Singapore –

  • Decide the type of account you wish 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.
  • Fill up the account opening form.
  • If possible, provide references from existing account holders in that bank.
  • Submit the form with the necessary documents
  • An officer will conduct a verification process. You will be notified when he/she clears your account opening proposal form.
  • Deposit an initial amount in your new bank account!

    General Document Requirements

    Here are the general requirements that most banks require their applicants to fulfill –

  • Proof of Singaporean Residence – You can use your passport, proof of employment (issued by the local Ministry of Manpower), or a proof of residence (electricity bill, previous bank statements)
  • Justification for your Bank Account Requirement – Once you can prove that you do have a permanent or temporary residence permit in Singapore, you’ll have to justify the reasons behind your application. This justification can be it the form of a work permit, letter of offer/employment, or a letter from your educational institute (official letter certified by the local Ministry of Education).

    Some banks do offer applicants the option to carry out these processes over the internet. There’s no requirement for you to be physically present at the bank to complete the application process.

    Bank Account Online Application

    The most prominent banks in Singapore are the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB), and the 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 –

  • Complete their online application form
  • Upload the essential documents
  • The bank will take at least three working 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 necessitate the physical presence of the account signatories or business directors. The paperwork signing process in most top Singaporean banks is rigorous.

    All the major corporate heads should be physically present at the time of opening the corporate bank account. However, in some cases, the banks may sanction the signature of the documents either at an overseas branch of the bank or in the presence of a Notary Public. The banks need the account signatories to provide these documents –

  • Original and copies of the signatories’ passports (or Singapore IC).
  • Also required is the residential address proof of the signatories and beneficiary owners. Carry the original copies, and the bank employees themselves will make and collect the Xerox copies.
  • Certified copy of the business memorandum and the Articles of Association. These copies need to be attested by either the secretary of the company or one of the business directors.
  • Attested copy of the business’s company profile from the Company Registrar. This copy, too, needs to be attested by either the secretary of the company or one of the business directors.
  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Certificate of Resolution authorizing the account opening request. This resolution must include authorizations from the signatories of the account. Each bank has its unique format of these certificates. The signatories need to sign the certificate.
  • Board of Directors Resolution sanctioning the opening of the account. This document needs to contain all the names of the signatories to the account. A company secretary will be able to prepare this document.
  • Complete the Corporate/Business Account Opening Forms provided by the bank of your choice. These forms must be signed by all the signatories.
  • Additional documents/certifications may be needed by the bank officials on a case by case basis. Each bank has a unique set of requirements regarding Minimum Initial Deposit, Minimum Balance, and Account Fees.

    After assessing the forms and these documents, the Bank Officials will inform the 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 online application. Once approved, the Bank Officer will assist the applicants regarding the account opening process. However, a face to face meeting between the bank officials and at least two directors is compulsory.
    Additionally, as Singapore has many foreign banks with banking licenses for complete banking services, you have the option of opening an account there. As a foreigner in Singapore, if you have a bank account in the same bank in your home country, you can always look at the criteria for opening a new account in the local Singapore branch. It is best to look at the value added services, interest rates and the available ATM services before you open a new account in any bank.

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