Singapore Corporate Bank Account
Opening Services

Once your company is incorporated, it’s essential to consider whether a corporate bank account in Singapore is necessary for your business operations. Singapore is home to some of the world’s safest banks, ranking in the top 20. These banks offer advanced banking systems, including internet banking, debit cards, digital security tokens, multi-currency accounts, letter of credit services, and more.

We have established partnerships with Singapore’s leading banks, such as DBS, OCBC, and UOB, as well as international institutions like Citibank and HSBC. Through our services, we can facilitate the opening of a bank account for your company.

What sets our service apart is the ability to open the bank account remotely through a video call meeting, eliminating the need for clients to physically visit Singapore. However, please note that the bank will need to complete its review process before scheduling the video call (subject to approval).

What are the steps involved in opening a corporate bank account?

The company can initiate the corporate bank account application process once it has completed the incorporation process. During the application, the company must furnish business-related documents for an initial evaluation by the bank, which typically takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks or longer.

Once the bank concludes its review and approves the application, arrangements can be made for a video call meeting involving the company director and authorized signatories. It’s essential to note that the bank account’s final approval is subject to the bank’s compliance team.

The following are the essential business documents required for the preliminary bank review:

  • Certificate of incorporation for your existing company
  • Recent invoices from your current business (e.g., invoices from suppliers and customers)
  • List of suppliers and customers associated with your current business
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume of the company’s director
  • Any contracts or agreements relevant to your existing business

Please reach out to us for comprehensive information on bank selection and their specific requirements.

Types of banking institutions

Explore the various categories of deposit-taking institutions in Singapore, encompassing local and full banks, wholesale banks, merchant banks, and finance companies, to gain insights into their authorized operations and activities.

Local and Full Banks

Local and full banks in Singapore operate under the regulations of the Banking Act and are authorized to engage in universal banking activities, which include:

  • Deposit-taking
  • Cheque services and lending
  • Alternate businesses regulated and/or authorized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This includes, but may not be limited to, financial advisory services, insurance broking, and capital market services.

These banks are, however, restricted from participating in non-financial activities, as specified in Section 30 of the Banking Act. While separate licensing for these activities is not required, banks and their representatives must adhere to the business conduct requirements outlined in the Financial Advisers Act (FAA), the Insurance Act (IA), and as well as the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

In Singapore, notable local and full banks include:

  • Developmental Bank of Singapore (DBS):

    Established in 1968, DBS has expanded from development financing to a comprehensive financial institution, operating in 18 global markets with a strong presence in key Asian markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan. DBS offers a wide range of financial solutions, including corporate and personal banking, treasury and capital markets services, asset management, brokerage services, and equity and debt financing.
  • Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank):

    Founded in 1932 through a merger of three Singaporean banks, OCBC Bank has grown into the second-largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets. With a network of over 470 branches and representative offices in 19 countries and regions, OCBC serves clients in various markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Greater China. It offers a diverse range of financial services, including personal and business banking, investment, insurance, and brokerage services.
  • United Overseas Bank (UOB):

    Established in 1935, UOB stands tall as the third-largest bank in Southeast Asia. The bank operates through major subsidiaries like United Overseas Bank (Malaysia), United Overseas Bank (Thailand), PT Bank UOB Indonesia, and United Overseas Bank (China). UOB has a global network of more than 500 offices across 19 countries and territories. Its core business segments cover retail banking, wholesale banking, global markets, and various financial services, including personal banking, private banking, business banking, investment banking, and more.

Additionally, several other full banks in Singapore include Citibank, Maybank, Bank of America, Bank of India, CIMB Bank, and Mizuho Bank.

These financial institutions are renowned for their robust banking systems, offering a wide range of services such as internet banking, debit cards, digital security tokens, multi-currency accounts, letters of credit, and more, making Singapore a prime choice for international business ventures.

Wholesale banks

Wholesale banks in Singapore operate under the regulatory framework of the Banking Act. These financial institutions have the authorization to conduct a broad spectrum of banking activities, similar to full banks. However, they are distinct in that they do not engage in retail banking activities denominated in Singapore dollars.

As per the Banking Act, wholesale banks are restricted from venturing into non-financial activities. The permissible activities for wholesale banks are explicitly outlined in Section 30 of the Banking Act.

These operations in Singapore are governed by the Guidelines for Operations of Wholesale Banks.

Notable examples of wholesale banks in Singapore include:

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
  • Bank of Taiwan
  • Barclays Bank PLC

Merchant banks

Merchant banks in Singapore operate under the regulatory framework outlined in the Banking Act. Their permissible activities are explicitly defined in Section 55V of the Banking Act. Unlike retail banks, merchant banks primarily focus on serving businesses, facilitating investments, and engaging in foreign trade activities. They do not extend their services to the general public. 

Here are a few notable examples of merchant banks in Singapore:

  • Bank of America Singapore Limited
  • Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited
  • UBS Principal Capital Asia Ltd.

Finance companies

Finance companies in Singapore are regulated by and operate under the guidelines outlined in the Finance Companies Act. These institutions engage in a range of financial activities that encompass deposit-taking and lending services catering to both individuals and corporations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Here are a few notable examples of finance companies in Singapore:

  • Hong Leong Finance Limited
  • Singapura Finance Ltd

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it a straightforward process to open a corporate bank account in Singapore?
  • In recent years, regulatory authorities worldwide, including Singapore, have intensified their scrutiny and imposed stricter penalties on financial institutions with inadequate anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls. Consequently, banks in Singapore and globally have become more meticulous in assessing applications for corporate bank accounts, especially those involving companies with foreign directors and business activities categorized as higher risk.
  • The success of a corporate bank account application can hinge on several factors, including the nature of the company’s business, its organizational structure, and the backgrounds of the individuals and entities associated with the company.
  • Yes, it is feasible to open an offshore corporate bank account in Singapore. However, it’s essential to consider the same factors outlined in FAQ 1 above, along with additional aspects such as the company’s place of registration and the purpose of setting up the bank account in Singapore.

Premia TNC has the optimal solutions for all your business needs.

Get in touch today for a FREE consultation.
No hidden costs, no obligations.

Feel free to drop us an email too!
[email protected]

Premia TNC has the optimal solutions for all your business needs.

Get in touch today for a FREE consultation.
No hidden costs, no obligations.

Feel free to drop us an email too!
[email protected]