Corporate Bank Accounts in Singapore

singapore bank account opening

After the company is incorporated, the business owner and investor will need to consider if a Singapore corporate bank account is needed for business operations. Singapore banks rank among the world’s top 20 safest banks. With highly advanced bank systems, they can provide facilities such as internet banking, debit card, digital security token, multi-currency accounts, letter of credit, and more.

We are partnered with the largest banks in Singapore, namely, DBS, OCBC, UOB as well as international banks like Citibank and HSBC for which we are able to arrange a bank account opening for your company.

In addition, the bank account can be opened remotely via video call meeting, meaning that clients do not need to visit Singapore. However, the bank will need to complete the reviewing process before the video call can be arranged (subject to approval).

What are the procedures for corporate bank account opening?

The company may only proceed to apply for a corporate bank account after it is incorporated. During the application process, the company needs to provide business supporting documents for a preliminary review by the bank. This review may take around 3 to 4 weeks or more.

Once the review is completed and the bank accepts the application, further arrangements can be made for a video call meeting with the company director and authorized signer(s). Do note that the bank account is subject to final approval by the bank compliance team.

Listed below are the business supporting documents needed for the bank’s preliminary review:-

Certificate of incorporation of your existing company;

1. Latest invoices from your existing business (e.g. suppliers and customers invoices);
2. Certificate of incorporation of your existing company;
3. List of suppliers and customers from your existing business;
4. Director’s CV/ Resume; and
5. Any contract or agreement from your existing business.

Please contact us for more details on bank selection and their respective requirements.

Types of Bank Institutions

Deposit-taking institutions in Singapore include local & full banks, wholesale banks, merchant banks and finance companies. Please find out more about the types of institutions and their permitted activities.

Local Banks and Full Banks

Local and Full banks are licensed under and governed by the Banking Act .

They may undertake universal banking, including the following activities:

  • Deposit taking.
  • Cheque services and lending.
  • Any other businesses regulated or authorised by MAS, including financial advisory services, insurance broking and capital market services.

They are prohibited from engaging in non-financial activities. Section 30 of the Banking Act defines the permissible activities.

Note: Banks and their representatives do not have to be separately licensed to carry out such activities, but must comply with the business conduct requirements prescribed in the Financial Advisers Act (FAA), Insurance Act (IA) and Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

In Singapore, our Local Banks are:

Developmental Bank of Singapore (DBS)

DBS Bank was established in 1968 with the ambition of expanding the services beyond development financing to a full-fledged financial institution. DBS is present in 18 markets globally, including six priority markets in Asia, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan. This makes DBS the only Asian bank with a presence in the three key axes of growth – Southeast Asia, Greater China and South Asia.​

The bank offers a wide range of finance solutions in the form of corporate and personal banking products and services, including consumer banking, treasury and capital markets services, asset management, brokerage services, and equity and debt financing.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank)

OCBC Bank was founded in 1932 as a result of the merger of three banks in Singapore – the Chinese Commercial Bank, the Ho Hong Bank, and the Oversea Chinese Bank. OCBC is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks.

OCBC is the second largest bank in Southeast Asia, with more than 470 branches and representative offices in 19 countries and regions. These include over 230 branches and offices in Indonesia under subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and over 70 branches and offices in Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR under OCBC Wing Hang. OCBC Bank’s key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China.

OCBS is strategically positioned to serve clients across the globe with their network of offices, which allows clients to access business transactions, global treasury, investment and commercial banking solutions such as financing, insurance and brokerage services

We are delighted to inform you that we have been awarded the title of ‘Prestige Partner by OCBC bank in Singapore’ for our corporate clients who are expanding their esteemed businesses. Please find more information on our blog at OCBC Singapore x Premia TNC Singapore to understand how we can assist you to open a corporate bank account remotely, as well as eligibility, requirements and more.

United Overseas Bank (UOB)

UOB Bank was established in 1935 and had a subsequent change of name in 1965. At present, UOB is the third largest bank in Southeast Asia and the major banking subsidiaries in the region are United Overseas Bank (Malaysia), United Overseas Bank (Thailand), PT Bank UOB Indonesia and United Overseas Bank (China). Today, the UOB Group has a network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America.

The bank offers a wide range of financial services globally through their three core business segments – Group Retail, Group Wholesale Banking and Global Markets which including personal financial services, private banking, business banking, commercial and corporate banking, transaction banking, investment banking, corporate finance, capital market activities, treasury services, as well as brokerage and clearing services.

Other examples of Full Banks in Singapore are:

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

Wholesale Banks

Wholesale banks are licensed under and governed by the Banking Act. Wholesale banks may engage in the same range of banking business as full banks, except that they do not carry out Singapore dollar retail banking activities.

They are prohibited from engaging in non-financial activities. Section 30 of the Banking Act defines the permissible activities.

Wholesale banks operate within the Guidelines for Operations of Wholesale Banks.

Some examples of Wholesale Banks in Singapore are:

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

Merchant Banks

Merchant banks are licensed under and governed by the Banking Act. Section 55V of the Banking Act defines the permissible activities. Merchant banks deal mainly with businesses, investments and foreign trade, and do not provide services to the general public.

Some examples of Merchant Banks in Singapore are:

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

Finance Companies

Finance companies are licensed under and governed by the Finance Companies Act.

Their activities include deposit taking and lending to individuals and corporations including SMEs.

Some examples of Finance Companies in Singapore are:

  • Hong Leong Finance Limited
  • Singapura Finance Ltd

Frequently Asked Questions

In the recent years, due to a higher awareness of money laundering and financing of terroism, regulatory bodies have increased checks and penalties against financial institutions with weak controls. This has led to banks all over the world, including Singapore, becoming increasingly stringent when vetting applications for bank accounts of companies with foreign directors and business natures considered to be of a higher risk.

Whether a corporate bank accounting opening is successful or not may depend on various factors, such as the company’s business nature, its structure as well as the background of the individuals and entities involved in the company.

Yes, this is possible. However, the answer from FAQ 1 above also applies here and more. Additional factors like the company’s country of registration and the reason for the bank account to be opened in Singapore will be taken into consideration as well.

Do you need more information?

You may refer to these Singapore business expansion guides to find out more:

Singapore Corporate Information

Read about why Singapore is such a popular choice for company incorporation.

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Singapore Company Secretary Services

Is it mandatory to engage a corporate secretary in Singapore?

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Singapore Virtual Office Service

Save costs while operating a business in Singapore by registering for a virtual office.

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