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Open a business account when you’re ready to start accepting or spending money as your business. A business bank account helps you stay legally compliant and protected. It also provides benefits to your customers and employees. Today we provides an insight into Singapore’s banking industry, a sophisticated financial ecosystem of domestic and international banks. You will learn about the procedures for opening a corporate bank account, the documentary requirements, as well as the range of banking services available.
In recent years, Singapore has emerged as arguably Asia’s foremost financial centre, with every major international financial institution having its presence here. As of now, there are 125 commercial banks operating in the city-state, of which five are local and the rest are foreign.
Among the 120 foreign banks, 28 are foreign full banks, 55 are wholesale banks and 37 are offshore banks. The five locally-incorporated entities are owned by the banking groups – Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB), and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC). Some prominent foreign banks present include Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Citibank, and ABN AMRO.
Singapore’s central bank, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is the nodal agency regulating all the financial institutions of Singapore.
Note: Opening of a corporate bank account in Singapore is easy and effortless provided the documentation requirements are appropriately met. Following is an overview of the account opening procedure and a comparison of some of the major banks. This is purely a general guide and should not be considered as a professional advice. Readers are advised to directly check on the current policies and terms of service with the respective banks.
Generally, the following is needed to open a corporate bank account in Singapore:
A resolution by company’s board of directors
Copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation
Copy of the company’s business profile
Copy of company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
Copies of passports or Singapore national identification cards of all the company directors
Proof of residential addresses of the directors and ultimate beneficial owners of the company
The copies of documents must be “Certified True” by the company secretary or one of the company directors. Moreover, the concerned bank may also request for original documents and additional documents for added verification.
Notably, some banks in Singapore require that the account signatories and directors be physically present for the signing of official documentation at the time of account opening. Other banks may accept documents that are signed in person at one of their overseas branches or in front of a notary. Whatever may be the case, all banks in Singapore comply with stringent laws and regulations and therefore will carry out a comprehensive series of checks and investigations on their potential clients before opening a new corporate account.
A company may open a Singapore dollar account or a foreign currency account as most banks in the city-state provide a multi-currency account. The type of account may be decided based on the company’s nature of the business.
For trading companies and for companies which have large overseas transactions a foreign currency or multi-currency account is essential. Do note that depending on the bank and account type, the minimum balance amount will differ. But overall, the minimum balance requirement and bank charges are relatively higher for international banks.
In Singapore, all banks provide cheque book facilities for Singapore dollar corporate accounts. But in case of foreign currency accounts, cheque books are available for only certain currencies.
Similarly, as regards to ATM cards, most banks provide the facility with varying daily limits for Singapore dollar account only.
The option of a credit card facility is offered largely on a case by case basis and some banks require that the account must be held for a minimum period before availing such facility.
Moreover, online banking facility is available with all banks in Singapore, but the kind of transactions allowed varies and the customers are allowed to set transaction limit in most of the major banks.
Almost all banks in Singapore provide a comprehensive suite of enterprise banking solutions such as insurance, account payable services, account receivable service, trade financing, and liquidity management services.
Loan facilities are also there but depend on the company’s financial history, nature of the business, Singaporean stake in the company, management profile, headcount in the company, and customer profile.
We can certainly help you. Our team can help facilitate the opening of a corporate bank account for your Singapore and/or offshore registered entity. Call us at +65 6591 9991 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.
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