Singapore Corporate Bank Account
Opening Services

Establishing a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

corporate bank account opening in singapore

Initiating Corporate Banking Services in Singapore

Once a business has been successfully incorporated, entrepreneurs and investors may wish to evaluate the necessity of a corporate bank account in Singapore for conducting business transactions. Being amongst the 20 most secure banking systems globally, Singaporean banks offer cutting-edge facilities including internet banking, debit cards, digital security tokens, multi-currency accounts, letters of credit, and more.

Our firm maintains strong partnerships with Singapore’s prominent banks such as DBS, OCBC, UOB, along with international banks like Citibank and HSBC. We are well-positioned to facilitate the process of opening a bank account for your company.

Moreover, we offer the convenience of opening your account remotely via a video call. This eliminates the need to physically visit Singapore. However, the bank must complete its review process before the video call is scheduled (approval dependent).

What's the process to open a corporate bank account?

The process of applying for a corporate bank account can only commence after the company’s incorporation. During this process, the company must submit relevant business documents for an initial bank review. This process typically takes around 3 to 4 weeks.

After the completion of the review and acceptance of the application by the bank, further arrangements for a video call meeting can be coordinated with the company director and authorized signer(s). Please be aware that the final approval for the bank account lies with the bank’s compliance team.

The following business support documents are needed for the bank’s initial review:

Certificate of your current company’s incorporation;

  1. Recent invoices from your existing business (like suppliers and customer invoices);
  2. Certificate of incorporation of your current company;
    List of suppliers and customers from your existing business;
  3. Director’s CV/ Resume;
  4. Any existing business contracts or agreements.

Feel free to reach out to us for more information on selecting a bank and understanding their respective requirements.

Bank Institution Types

Deposit-accepting institutions in Singapore span local & full banks, wholesale banks, merchant banks, and finance companies. You can learn more about these institutions and their permitted activities.

Local and Full Banks

Local and Full banks are governed by the Banking Act and are authorized to perform universal banking, including:

  • Deposit acceptance;
  • Cheque services and lending;
  • Any other businesses regulated or authorized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), including financial advisory services, insurance broking, and capital market services.

They are barred from participating in non-financial activities as per section 30 of the Banking Act.

Banks and their representatives are exempt from separate licensing to carry out these activities but are required to adhere to the business conduct norms set out in the Financial Advisers Act (FAA), Insurance Act (IA), and Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

In Singapore, our Local Banks include:

  • Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)
    DBS Bank, established in 1968, has extended its services from development financing to a comprehensive financial institution. DBS is operating in 18 global markets, including six key Asian markets – Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan. DBS distinguishes itself as the solitary Asian bank with strong footprints across the three major economic powerhouses – Southeast Asia, Greater China, and South Asia.
  • Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank)
    OCBC Bank emerged in 1932 from the merger of three Singaporean banks – the Chinese Commercial Bank, the Ho Hong Bank, and the Oversea Chinese Bank. Today, OCBC is the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s highest-rated banks.
  • United Overseas Bank (UOB)
    UOB Bank, incorporated in 1935 and renamed in 1965, is currently the third-largest bank in Southeast Asia. The regional banking affiliates under UOB’s umbrella comprise United Overseas Bank (Malaysia), United Overseas Bank (Thailand), PT Bank UOB Indonesia, and United Overseas Bank (China).

There are also Full Banks in Singapore such as:

  • Citibank
  • Maybank
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of India
  • CIMB Bank
  • Mizuho Bank

Wholesale Banking Institutions

Governed under the provisions of the Banking Act, wholesale banks can partake in the same array of banking operations as full banks, except they are not authorized to perform Singapore dollar retail banking activities.

These banking establishments are prohibited from partaking in non-financial activities, as stated in Section 30 of the Banking Act, which also elucidates the permissible activities.

The operations of wholesale banks align with the stipulated Guidelines for Operations of Wholesale Banks.

Among the Wholesale Banks in Singapore, you will find:

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
  • Bank of Taiwan
  • Barclay’s Bank PLC

Commercial Banking Institutions

Commercial banks, also governed under the Banking Act, primarily cater to businesses, investments, and foreign trade, without offering services to the general public. Section 55V of the Banking Act outlines their permissible activities.

Here are some Commercial Banks in Singapore:

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

Financial Companies

Finance companies, licensed and governed under the Finance Companies Act, engage in activities like accepting deposits and providing loans to both individuals and corporate bodies, including SMEs.

Examples of Finance Companies in Singapore include:

  • Hong Leong Finance Limited
  • Singapura Finance Ltd.

With rising concerns about money laundering and terrorism financing in recent years, regulatory authorities have tightened checks and sanctions against financial institutions exhibiting weak controls. Consequently, banks globally, including those in Singapore, have become more rigorous in assessing applications for company bank accounts, especially those with foreign directors and businesses deemed high-risk.
The success of opening a corporate bank account may hinge on multiple factors such as the nature of the company’s business, its structure, and the profiles of individuals and entities involved in the company.

Indeed, it is feasible. However, the explanation provided in the above FAQ also applies here and beyond. Additional considerations such as the company’s country of incorporation and the rationale for opening a bank account in Singapore will also be evaluated.

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]