Opening a Personal Bank Account in Singapore

There is no denying Singapore is a popular country for expats and foreigners. The city-state is incredibly easy to do business in, the streets are safe and peaceful, and there is a high quality of life.

When it comes to opening a personal bank account in Singapore, the process is fairly uncomplicated, both for residents and non-residents. Here’s how:

Documents Required for Opening a Singapore Personal Bank Account

For Locals (Singapore residents and Permanent Residents)

  • Account Opening Application Form
  • A copy of the Identification Card (IC)
  • Proof of residential address

For foreigners, Entrepass holders, Employment Pass holders, S Pass holders and other work pass holders:

  • Account Opening Application Form
  • Passport
  • Work Pass
  • Proof of your residential address

Documents accepted as proof of residential address:

  • Utility, telephone or tax bills (less than 3 months old)
  • Bank or credit card statements
  • Official letters issued by government or other public bodies
  • Singapore employment passes/work permits (showing a residential address)
  • Rental agreements showing your residential address and with you as one of the contracting parties
  • Identification card, passport or driving license showing your residential address
  • A formal letter from your employer which shows your residential address

Major Banks in Singapore

Local Banks

  • UOB
  • OCBC
  • DBS

Foreign Banks

  • Citibank
  • Standard Chartered
  • Morgan Stanley
  • HSBC

ATMs and Bank Branches

It is ideal to pick a bank that is able to serve you wherever you are – this translates to a sizable number of bank branches located in the Central Business District as well as heartlands, and a large number of ATM facilities throughout Singapore.

DBS, a local bank, has more than 1,000 DBS and POSB ATMs across the country. UOB and OCBC, also local banks which share an ATM network service, have more than 1,200 ATMs in Singapore. At the ATMs, customers can conduct cross-bank cash withdrawals, fund transfers and balance inquiry services.

International banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Maybank, Bank of China, State Bank of India and ABN Amro are all part of the ATM5 network, allowing customers to withdraw money with no transaction fees and view their account balance at more than 200 ATMs island-wide.

Minimum balance in account and deposit amount

While some banks do not require a minimum initial deposit, there are selected banks that put up a minimum deposit amount between S$500 to S$2,000, especially for current accounts. In addition, banks might charge a fall-below service fee of S$5 or more should the average daily balance in your current account fall below a minimum amount.

Savings accounts work on a similar note – should your account balance fall below a stipulated amount, you will be charged a small fee by your bank. It is advisable to pick a bank that does not levy penalty charges, especially if you do not intend to attend to your account balance conscientiously.

Online Banking

There is no longer a need to head down to a bank branch or even an ATM to perform cross-bank cash withdrawals, fund transfers and balance inquiry services. Customers now have the luxury of e-banking from the comfort of their homes.

Besides being easy to setup (an e-banking account can be created from your neighbourhood ATM or a bank branch), the e-banking account is also highly secure.

There are a few layers of security involved with e-banking: your e-banking user ID and password, followed by a one-time password (OTP) typically generated by a physical hardware token or a soft, digital token embedded within the bank’s mobile application.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Most banks in Singapore require in-person presence of the authorized signatories and company officers in order to open a company bank account.

In order to help our clients save valuable time, AsiaBiz will arrange for the respective bank officer to meet you personally during the signing of your company incorporation papers in our office premises. You can thus open your company bank account without needing to step into the bank.

Learn more about opening a corporate bank account in Singapore

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Last updated: September 18, 2017

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