Singapore is one of the most attractive places to open a foreign bank account, both private and corporate, for your company or business. It is a reliable and safe jurisdiction with a sound financial system in place and services provided in English.
Unfortunately, recently, opening a foreign account in Singapore has become much more complicated than before. This is due to Singapore’s commitment to meet all international standards of transparency in order to prevent money laundering and tax evasion. Singaporean banks have significantly increased their requirements for identification and opening of bank accounts for foreign customers.
Singapore has about 30 banks that are ready to open an account for local and foreign customers. However, not all of them are worthy of your consideration. DBS, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Union Overseas Bank (UOB) and some others are in the focus.
The main reason for choosing these banks may be your willingness to open a brokerage account, as well as the wish to make a large number of affordable, fast and easy transfers within the bank via the Electronic Payment for Shares (EPS) system.
Of the three banks listed above, perhaps the best would be OCBC Bank. The financial institution offers an impressive range of banking services, among which are brokerage and settlement accounts. In addition, all intra-bank payments are automated, including transactions between the brokerage and settlement accounts.
There are many foreign banks in Singapore, such as HSBC or Citibank. However, if you already have an account with one of these banks, it does not mean that keeping your funds there and making payments between different branches of the same bank will be more cost-effective than opening an account with another foreign bank in Singapore.
FREE EXPERT CONSULTATION
with seasoned professionals on international
banking and where it is best to open
non-resident corporate accounts.
with seasoned professionals on international banking and where it is best to open non-resident corporate accounts.
What Bank Accounts Are Available in Singapore?
The conditions for opening a bank account for non-residents in all Singapore banks are about the same. You can’t just open a settlement account with a debit or credit card, but you can easily become a holder of the savings account.
When you open a foreign bank account in Singapore, you can transfer your funds freely, withdraw cash from ATMs, and there are no account fees until you reduce the minimum account balance that usually amounts to SGD 1,000. Private Internet banking in Singapore banks is mandatory for each account and totally free of charge.
Apart from savings accounts in Singapore banks you can also open a fixed-term deposit to get a better interest rate. Deposits in foreign currencies are also available in Singapore. They usually include all convertible currencies such as EUR, USD, GBP and others.
How Do I Open a Foreign Bank Account in Singapore?
Once you have decided on the type of foreign bank account you wish to open in Singapore, you will need to move on to the procedure of opening the account. It should be mentioned right away that opening a foreign bank account in Singapore is best done with the assistance of a professional intermediary. Our company can provide you with assistance in selecting the bank and attending the appointment with the bank in Singapore.
Opening a foreign bank account in Singapore visiting the country in person is a very attractive product since you will get not only a well-thought-out and safe instrument for managing, keeping and protecting your assets. You will see for yourself how reliable and attractive the jurisdiction of your bank is.
In order to visit a bank in Singapore in person, you will have to get to the financial district of the city where all three banks mentioned in the article are located. You will need to bring your passport, a bank statement or a utility bill as proof of residency. The bank may also ask you for letters of recommendation from certain professionals (notary, lawyer, and so on). In some cases, the bank will ask for your taxpayer number and national insurance number in your country of residence, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Before you travel to Singapore, you need to contact our professionals in Singapore. They can provide you with a comprehensive list of necessary documents and tell you about all the subtleties of opening a foreign bank account in Singapore.
Terms and conditions of the recommended Singapore banks:
- OCBC Bank account. Initial deposits of 3,000 SGD, 500 USD, 500 EUR; average daily balance of 10,000 SGD, 10,000 USD.
- DBS Commercial Banking account. Initial deposit of SGD 3,000, USD 1,000, EUR 800; average daily balance of SGD 10,000, USD 1,000, EUR 800.
- MayBank account. Initial deposit of SGD 1,000, USD 1,000, EUR 100; average daily balance of SGD 10,000, USD 1,000.
- CitiBank Singapore account. Initial deposit of SGD 50,000 (or its equivalent); average daily balance of SGD 50,000 (total for all accounts).
- UOB Bank account. Initial deposit of 1,000 SGD, 1,000 USD, 900 EUR; average daily balance of 10,000 SGD, 8,000 EUR.
When opening a private or corporate bank account in Singapore, please keep in mind the following:
- There are no currency controls in Singapore. But when importing more than 30,000 SGD, you need to fill out a customs declaration. But money can always be transferred via electronic payment systems.
- Should you wish to deposit funds into your foreign bank account in Singapore, you will need to make an international transfer. After opening a bank account, the bank will provide you with a SWIFT code and all necessary details for transferring money to the account.
- As a rule, the transfer takes 3 to 10 days depending on the country of the sender’s bank. Average commission for incoming transfers is around 10 SGD.
Is It Safe to Keep One’s Funds in Singapore?
Singapore is a reliable and well-regulated financial center not only in Southeast Asia, but worldwide. Banks are regulated and supervised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank.
As for deposit protection, Singapore dollar deposits are protected to the amount of SGD 50,000 by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Please note that deposits in foreign currencies are not insured.
The banks mentioned in this article are in fact stable and totally reliable, and only one of them is partly state-owned, DBS, via the Temasek Sovereign Wealth Fund. However, it is quite obvious that the government will never allow any of these banks to go bankrupt and suffer investment losses, even of foreign customers. As of today, it is important to understand that the Singapore government has an AAA credit rating from all rating agencies.
Other services we offer in Singapore:
- Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore Remotely
- Open a Trust in Singapore with a Bank Account in Saint Lucia
- Open a Private and a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore Visiting the Country in Person
- Open a Private Bank Account in Singapore Remotely
In order to open a foreign bank account in Singapore, please feel free to contact us directly at email@example.com. We also offer a free consultation on the selection of a foreign bank account depending on your goals and means.