How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore?
We discuss the requirements to open a corporate bank account in Singapore, including the necessary documents, and procedures, and note the country’s prominent banking institutions.
Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is a relatively simple and quick process, although this also depends on whether the applicant’s data is complete. Singaporean banks will ask for more detailed information if the applicants are foreign-owned companies or individuals compared to local companies or individuals.
As a financial hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore hosts a variety of local and foreign financial institutions. As such, nearly all major foreign banks have a presence in the city-state and a Singapore-based corporate account can receive funds from any location worldwide, efficiently.
What are the factors to consider when choosing a Singaporean bank?
When opening a bank account, there are several factors to consider, mainly:
- The type of financial services your business requires and whether the bank provides such services;
- The minimum initial deposit;
- The type of currency your business will be transacting in; and
- The ease of transactions.
What are the requirements to open a Singapore bank account?
Singapore banks are expected to collect detailed information from foreign clients regarding their professional backgrounds and proposed business plan. Consequently, opening a bank account can take a few weeks for foreign-owned businesses.
Proof of company incorporation in Singapore
This comprises the following document:
- A certified true copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation;
- Completed corporate account opening forms;
- A certified true copy of the company’s Articles of Association;
- A certified true copy of the company’s business profile from the Company Registrar; and
- A Board of Directors resolution sanctioning the opening of the account with their signatories.
Proof of residential address
The company’s shareholders, directors, and ultimate beneficial owners need to provide proof of residency.
Information on the ultimate beneficial owners
This information can be provided through a biography write-up, through a profile on the company website, or by submitting a CV.
Detailed company information
The bank also requires detailed information on the company and its proposed business activities, potential clients/customers, as well as anticipated transaction activity. The requests can vary between banks.
Local banks will have a lower setup fee than international banks and there may be additional fees for extra services such as internet banking.
The type of fees include:
- Minimum deposits – the minimum amount required to open a bank account;
- ATM withdrawal fees – some banks will charge a fee for withdrawing from their ATM, this often applies to non-members of the bank;
- International transfer fees – the fee applies to transactions to another country; and
- Early closure fees – apply when the account is closed within six months of opening.
Banking institutions in Singapore
Singapore is home to over 100 commercial banks, over 20 merchant banks, and more than 20 investment banks. Several major local banks are described below. These banks all provide the full spectrum of banking services from retail to private to merchant banking. In addition, they also provide insurance products and wealth management services.
DBS Bank is the largest bank in Singapore by assets, valued at US$500 billion in 2022. The bank has over 100 branches in the city-state, as well as branches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, UAE, US, UK, Hong Kong, and India, among others.
The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) Bank is the second largest bank in Singapore by assets which were valued at US$402 billion in 2022. The bank has over 420 branches located in 19 countries and regions. Some 190 branches are located in Indonesia under its subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and 60 branches are located in mainland China.
The United Overseas Bank (UOB) is Singapore’s third-largest bank by assets which was valued at US$340 billion in 2022. The bank serves more than five million customers and has a network of over 500 branches in 19 countries and regions worldwide. This includes 41 branches in Indonesia.
ASEAN Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia and maintains offices throughout ASEAN, including in Singapore, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang in Vietnam, in addition to Jakarta, in Indonesia. We also have partner firms in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand as well as our practices in China and India. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.dezshira.com.
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