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Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore – This Is What You Should Know

Last modified: June 17, 2016
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The stable economy and the extraordinary financial ecosystem in Singapore is shaped by more than 200 domestic and international banks. This Page is a mere attempt to analyze and understand the procedure to open a corporate bank account in Singapore, documents required to do so and the range of banking services available thereafter.

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Fifty years from now, Singapore achieved its independence. At that time, Singapore was nothing more than a small island nation. Nevertheless, the progress this small nation has made on the economic front is quite astonishing. Thestrategic approach and planned development of the Singapore have made it one of the top financial countries in the Asia-Pacific region and a destination offering sound and stable environment for investment and for business growth. Still Singapore continues to be regarded as a Triple-A rated economy possessing a strong growth potential.

Being an international financial center, Singapore offers a pro-business environment to the financial institutions. With a pool of highly skilled finance professionals, an effective regulatory environment, and an excellent banking infrastructure have helped banking system flourish in Singapore. Home to over 200 domestic and international banks, the banking sector has played an eminent role in the development of Singapore. Facilitating trade, corporate financing, and building infrastructure has all been possible due to the faith bestowed by these banks in the proposed development of Singapore.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Opening a corporate bank account is one of the essential aspects of Singapore company incorporation. Due to the number of commercial banks in Singapore, companies incorporated in Singapore have multiple options to open a corporate bank account. As of now, there are 127 commercial banks in Singapore, out of which 5 are Local Banks and 122 are Foreign Banks. These 122 Foreign Banks are again divided based on licenses they have received; as if, 28 are Foreign Full banks, 56 are Whole banks and 38 are offshore banks.

Documents Required Opening a Bank Account in Singapore

After successfully completing the Singapore company registration process, you will have to open a corporate bank account. Here is a list of documents you will require opening a corporate bank account in Singapore.

  • Completed and duly signed corporate bank account forms by a reputable bank
  • Residential address proof, of directors, signatories and of the ultimate beneficiary owners
  • Certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • A Certified copy of the company’s business profile from ACRA
  • Resolution from the Board of Directors sanctioning the Account Opening and Signatories of the account
  • Certified copy of the company’s Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Certified copies of Passport or of SingPass
  • Certificate of Incumbency (For Offshore Accounts Only)
  • Certificate of Good Standing (For Offshore Accounts Only)
NOTE: At the time of opening a corporate bank account, many banks in Singapore require the physical presence of Signatories and majority Directors for paperwork signing. However, there are few banks that allow the signing of documents at one of their overseas branch locations in the presence of a notary public. Although above mentioned documents are enough, banks have the authority to ask for additional documents on a case-by-case basis.

Tips for Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Singapore is a country with a wide variety of banks, making it difficult for the entrepreneurs and investors to choose the right bank suiting their needs and serving their business purpose.

All commercial banks in Singapore are governed and licensed under the Banking Act. These banks are allowed to undertake the universal banking practices. The MAS ensures that all banks in Singapore comply with requirements on capital adequacy, asset maintenance, liquidity and limits on credit and investment exposure.
  • Keep the Required Paperwork Handy: Irrespective of whether you are a foreigner or a local, it is necessary to keep the required paperwork handy. The next step from here is to select the appropriate commercial bank for opening the corporate bank account.
  • Analyze the Banks Reputation: Always prefer a bank to open your corporate bank account having high creditworthiness, the standard of confidentiality and an acclaimed international presence. Although self-analysis is important, sometimes taking opinions from peers and seeking advice from your mentors always pays off at the end.
  • Location and accessibility of bank branches and ATMs: Many overseas banks in the Singapore have a restricted presence, but operate through some selected branches in the upscale or industrial areas. Preferring a bank that is nearby your office or company is a wise decision. Additionally, you have to ensure that the chosen bank has a large number of ATMs scattered in the country. Major commercial banks like ANZ, HSBC, and Standard Chartered have a good network of ATMS and participating banks like Citibank and Maybank has ATMs with ATM5 Logo.
  • Working hours of the Bank, are they convenient: Many banks in Singapore operate during office hours, i.e., from 9:00 Am to 4:00 Pm on weekdays and from 9:30 Am to 12:30 Pm on Saturdays. However, there are certain banks open for extended hours on Saturdays and some banks are working even on Sundays.
  • Fully Automated Services: Offering online checking facility is the new trend in Singaporean banks. Prefer such banks, as it will save your valuable time required to visit banks for day-to-day banking activities. Get to know about the online cash management tools, and understand if they are offered free of any charges to the small businesses or not. Many banks in Singapore offer these services without any charges. Using these services, you can cut payroll checks, send invoices, scan checks for online deposits, collect payments, etc.
  • Inquire about the pricing, fees, and associated charges: Before deciding the bank, it is necessary to conduct some due diligence. Get familiarized with the transaction fees involved in local and international transfer, fees for issuing checkbooks and additional service charges for activating different services. A deep insight on these changes and applicable fees will help you decide wisely.
  • Understand about the minimum balance and initial deposit: many commercial banks in Singapore require you to maintain a specific minimum balance in your account. Upon failure to maintain required minimum balance, some banks levy charges. Remember, the requirement of minimum balance varies from bank to bank.
  • Check out the online banking facility: Changing technology allows you to use your bank from your handheld gadgets. Check out the compatibility of banks and availability of apps that would allow you to carry out safe banking practices, even on your Smartphone or on your laptop. SMS notifications are another alarming way to stay abreast of each transaction, taking place in your account.

Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Bank to Open a Corporate Bank Account

  1. Does the bank have ATMs located nearby my home and office?
  2. What are the provisions to carry out my banking activities when I am flying abroad?
  3. How often will I have to visit the bank branch to work with the banker?
  4. Is there any interest I can earn after opening a savings account with this bank?
  5. Is online banking comprehensive enough to accommodate my day-to-day banking needs?

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We at SBS Consulting are equipped with a dedicated and experienced team of professionals, trained to facilitate the procedure of opening a corporate bank account for your newly incorporated business in Singapore.

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