Singapore is one of the world’s most important banking centers, home to major international banks, global corporations, and financial institutions from all over the world. As such, Singapore attracts people from all over the world to come to open a bank account. In different worldwide financial polls, Singaporean banks DBS, OCBC, and UOB are considered among the top banks in Asia. These banks are also open to accommodating the various banking needs of non-residents.
Let’s go over everything you need to know about creating a bank account in Singapore in this article!
1. Key features of Singapore Personal Bank accounts
1.1 Types of personal bank accounts in Singapore
There are three main types of bank accounts: savings, current and fixed deposit accounts.
Each type has its own set of features. Choose your account based on what you want to use it for:
- If you are going to use your account for day-to-day money management such as to pay bills, a current, savings or a combined current and savings account will be more useful.
- If you are thinking of putting aside a sum of money for medium to long-term savings, then you may prefer to open a fixed deposit account.
1.2 Some key features
Opening a Personal Bank Account in Singapore as a Foreigner
- Singapore is home to a large non-resident community, so its banks and financial services are used to dealing with foreigners. As such, all banks here have a straightforward to open a bank account in Singapore as a non-resident.
- With all the laws that focus on stopping money laundering in the country, it can be harder and harder to get an account open as a foreigner. However, if you are employed in Singapore and over eighteen years old, then the process is very simple. The easiest way is using your employment or study pass. In this case, most banks in Singapore will let you complete the sign-up process online.
Types of banking services that Singapore non-residents need
- As a general rule, most non-residents will want to consider these banking services to start with: Saving Account, ATMs, Remittance, Multi-currency accounts, Credit cards, “Stash away” account, Current account, Personal loans, Investment account.
1.3 Top advantages to owning a personal bank account in Singapore
With a private bank account in Singapore, the foreigner will receive not only a guarantee of the security of their assets but also advice and support, access to the investment instruments that will help to multiply their fortune.
A private account opened by a non-resident with a bank in Singapore that we recommend will give you even more advantages such as:
- ability to manage the account remotely with world-class banking apps and internet banking systems.
- fair rates, no hidden fees;
- easy access to your assets from any country of the world thanks to convenient payment cards;
- professional English-speaking support;
- privileged client status with each of the bank’s regional centers around the world;
- concierge service;
In addition, Singapore has signed double taxation agreements with many countries in the world.
Everyone has the right to own a personal bank account in their country of residence. However, being a foreigner account holder in Singapore – Asia’s main financial hub – without being a Singaporean resident or residing in Singapore is not easy. Let’s explore what you need to do to have a personal bank account as a foreigner not living in Singapore.
2. All the requirements you need to know before opening a personal bank account in Singapore
In general, opening a bank account in Singapore as a non-resident will necessitate some basic documents. Local banks differ in terms of whether you can finish the procedure entirely online or if you must visit a bank location in person.
Regardless of which bank you choose, the following documents will be mandatory for opening an account:
- Your passport;
In addition to these documents, some banks may require the following:
- Proof of Residence (in Singapore or abroad);
- A secondary government-issued ID in addition to your passport;
- Proof of financial statement (Statement of a personal account in the host country to prove financial capacity)
- KYC of bank account opening
And other documents will be prepared by the Singapore bank after the interview. Non-residents’ needed documentation might differ significantly from one bank to the other. When you engage Global Link Asia Consulting services, we will consult and assist you to select the most suitable bank in Singapore and double-check the materials and the bank requirements to maximise the chance that your application will be approved.
3. Top banking options in Singapore for a non-resident opening a personal bank account
When it comes to selecting a bank in Singapore, you’ll be spoiled for options. Singapore, a worldwide financial center, is home to numerous big multinational banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Citibank, as well as a strong group of local banks that have grown into regional banking behemoths such as DBS, OCBC. Take a look at the key offers from Singapore’s local and global banks below to discover more about your banking options as a non-resident:
3.1 DBS Bank
DBS is a big Singaporean bank that offers a variety of choices for ex-pats and non-residents. It is ranked as the safest bank in Asia. For example, with the DBS non-residentriate Programme, you’ll have access to a variety of banking features such as multi-currency accounts, normal chequing and savings, and remittance services (see our DBS Remit review), all of which are meant to make living as a non-resident as easy as possible.
There’s no minimum balance if it’s your first DBS bank account, and it gives you 1.55% p.a. interest or more, as long as you credit your salary to the account and spend some money on a DBS/POSB credit card (which you will, this being Singapore).
3.2 OCBC Bank
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), one of the major banks in the Asia-Pacific region, permits non-residents and ex-pats in Singapore to open savings, checking, and foreign currency bank accounts.
United Overseas Bank (UOB), Singapore’s third-largest bank, provides personal savings and current accounts to non-residents from other countries.
UOB is considered an expat-friendly bank in Singapore, offering up to 10% cashback and competitive rates for your overseas expenditure. Credit your salary of at least $2,000 and spend $500 or more on selected UOB credit cards each month, and you get at least 1.85% p.a. in interest.
3.4 HSBC Singapore
As a UK-based bank, HSBC Singapore allows immigrants to apply for a bank account online before arriving in Singapore. To activate the account, however, an Employment Pass will be necessary. HSBC also provides ex-pat services to assist immigrants in settling in Singapore.
HSBC is also a preferred option by many ex-pats because of its Multi-Currency Savings Account, providing access to 11 currencies and great global great facility.
HSBC also has a savings account that lets you earn 1.5% p.a. bonus interest when you remit money (at least $500 monthly).
Note: Typically, you should consider the following to choose your most suitable Singapore bank as a foreigner:
- You anticipated the volume of banking transactions
- The initial capital you will deposit with the bank
- The average minimum monthly balance you intend to maintain at the bank
- Additional financial services your business may need
- Minimum account balance requirements of the account
- Your customer service executive can provide more information.
4. Steps to open a personal bank account in Singapore with Global Link Incorporation
Global Link Incorporation is a prominent partner of Singaporean banks, thanks to our years of expertise in doing business with those banks. We offer the following services to assist you to open bank accounts in Singapore:
- Step 1: Consult and assist you to select the right bank in Singapore, the bank recommendations will be in the top 10 best local Singapore bank list. This is a trustworthy bank that can meet all the needs of account holders.
- Step 2: Assist you to prepare the required documents to open a bank account in Singapore.
- Step 3: Arrange an appointment with bank representatives.
- Step 4: Work directly with Singapore banks to support resolving any issues while operating bank account. Our service, your security.
It is not easy for a foreign individual not living in Singapore to effectively create a personal bank account in Singapore, Asia’s top financial hub. It is necessary that the individual is well-prepared with comprehensive documentation – and not everyone is able to gain the necessary knowledge or experience.
Choose Global Link Incorporation as your trustworthy partner in opening personal bank account in Singapore. Global Link Incorporation has 5-year working experience with Top Singapore banks to help guide clients to prepare documents thoughtfully and in accordance with the bank’s standards. Especially, we instruct clients to follow the 100% online process – no need to go directly to Singapore during the bank account opening process.
5. Frequently asked questions about opening a personal bank account in Singapore.
5.1 How long does it take to open a personal bank account in Singapore?
Typically, it takes two to four weeks to open a personal bank account in Singapore.
5.2 Do I have to travel to Singapore to a personal bank account in Singapore?
To open a personal bank account in Singapore, foreigners are no longer not required to travel to Singapore anymore to complete the Know-Your-Customer procedure.
5.3 How much do I need to deposit to open a bank account?
When opening a personal bank account in Singapore, foreigners are typically required to deposit at least SGD200,000 in the account.
We pride ourselves on being a trustworthy partner, working directly with world-class banks such as OCBC, DBS, UOB, Standard Charter Bank, ANZ, etc, and international payment gateways such as PayPal and many other partners. We will help you select the best banking option and increase your chance of successfully opening a bank account. With many years of experience working in this industry and having supported many companies, Global Link Incorporation is confident that we can bring the best services to all clients.