Whether you are a foreigner or an expatriate moving to Singapore, opening a bank account in Singapore is a fairly simple process. Online banking has made it easy for people from all walks of life to open a bank account in Singapore.
The procedures for opening a savings account, business account, corporate account or investment account differ from each other, as Singaporean banks offer many options to potential applicants. Most banks offer comprehensive services such as online banking, multi-currency accounts, trade finance, etc. If you are looking for information on how to open a bank account in Singapore, read on.
Procedure for opening a bank account in Singapore
Here are the steps to follow to open a bank account in Singapore.
Decide on 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 with a bank officer.
Complete the account application form.
If possible, provide references from existing account holders at that bank.
Submit the form with the necessary documents.
An officer will conduct a verification. You will be notified when he/she approves your account application form.
Deposit an initial amount into your new bank account!
General Document Requirements
Here are the general requirements that most banks ask their applicants to complete –
Proof of Singapore residency – You can use your passport, proof of employment (issued by the local Ministry of Manpower), or proof of residency (electricity bill, previous bank statements).
Proof of Bank Account Requirement – Once you have proven that you have a permanent or temporary residence permit in Singapore, you will need to justify the reasons for your application. This justification can be in the form of a work permit, a job offer letter or a letter from your educational institution (official letter certified by the local Ministry of Education).
Some banks offer applicants the option of doing this over the internet. It is not necessary to be physically present at the bank to complete the application process.
Online bank account application
The most important banks in Singapore are the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB), and Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC). These banks have facilitated the process of opening an account through the Internet. You need to go to the website of the bank of your choice, then – fill in the online application form
complete their online application form
upload the essential documents.
The bank will take at least three business days to process your application.
Once your application is approved, the bank will send your account details and a debit card to your official address.
Activate your debit card to start using your account.
How do I open a corporate bank account in Singapore?
The procedure for opening a business or corporate bank account in Singapore is more complex than opening a personal or savings account. Most banks require the physical presence of account signatories or company directors. The process of signing documents at most major banks in Singapore is rigorous.
All key company officers must be physically present at the time of opening the company’s bank account. However, in some cases, banks may allow documents to be signed either at an overseas bank branch or in the presence of a notary. The banks need the signatories of the account to provide these documents.
Original and copies of the signatories’ passports (or Singapore CI).
Proof of home address of signatories and beneficial owners is also required. Bring the original copies, the bank employees will make and collect the photocopies.
Certified copy of the commercial memorandum and articles of association. These copies must be certified by the company secretary or one of the company directors.
A certified copy of the company’s profile by the Business Registry. This copy must also be certified by the company secretary or one of the directors of the company.
Certificate of incorporation.
Certificate of Resolution authorizing the application to open an account. This resolution must include the authorizations of the signatories to the account. Each bank has its own format for these certificates. The signatories must sign the certificate.
Resolution of the Board of Directors sanctioning the opening of the account. This document must contain all the names of the signatories to the account. A corporate secretary can prepare this document.
Complete the corporate account opening forms provided by the bank of your choice. These forms must be signed by all signatories.
Additional documents/certifications may be required by bank officials on a case-by-case basis. Each bank has its own requirements for minimum initial deposit, minimum balance and account fees.
After evaluating the forms and these documents, bank officials will inform applicants of their future steps.