Establishing an account in Singapore in 2024

Establishing an account in Singapore in 2024

Singapore stands as a pinnacle of development in the Asia-Pacific, recognized internationally as a premier monetary hub. It commands a formidable variety of indigenous and intercontinental financial entities. Business owners and investors spanning the world are targeting at integrating their enterprises within this Asian jurisdiction and initiate accounts with esteemed Singaporean financial establishments.

Our comprehensive assessment of the financial landscape in this jurisdiction has pinpointed pivotal determinants necessitating scrutiny prior to beginning the application submission for account initiation. The discourse further delves into the selection criteria for intercontinental enterprises seeking to create accounts with banks domiciled in the confines of Singapore.

What categories of banking establishments are operational?

As previously indicated, Singapore stands as a prime domain for individuals and enterprises targeting to establish accounts with overseas monetary entities. Every banking organization and associated monetary entities are under the control and supervision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

MAS oversees pecuniary and credit policies, currency reserves, and transaction systems. Moreover, Singapore is gradually positioning itself as a hub for financial technology through the Smart Nation initiative. The country currently boasts the highest average transaction value for digital payments in Southeast Asia and is recognized as one of the leading nations in adopting cashless transfers. Banks can generally be divided into two main groups:

  1. Local;
  2. International.

Prior to establishing an international bank account, it's important to understand that in this region, they are segmented into:

  • Banks supplying a selection of services, as approved by the Banking Act. Six international banking establishments functioning in Singapore have been granted Qualifying Full Bank privileges.
  • Wholesale banking institutions present a similar selection of monetary solutions as regular institutions, excluding retail banking transactions in SGD.
  • Offshore banks partake in actions as full-fledged and wholesale banks, specializing in servicing enterprises engaged in cross-border payments within the Asian dollar sphere. Monetary activities denominated in SGD are distinctly registered within the Domestic Banking Unit.
  • Trading banks provide corporate financing solutions, equity and bond underwriting, asset investment administration services, management consulting, and additional offerings. Many trading banks, approved by MAS, have established Asian Currency Units, competing with commercial organizations in the Asian dollar market.

When contemplating the initiation of a bank account in Singapore, several facets warrant consideration. Primarily, the choice of a bank necessitates a thorough assessment of account initiation and maintenance expenses, the feasibility of online or remote account commencement, and the diversity of supplementary options extended by the selected establishment.

A Singapore bank account can be established for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • A private account that is opened by a foreigner for current expenses;
  • Corporate account for companies operating in Singapore and abroad;
  • A merchant account can be created by digital commerce enterprises functioning in the confines of Singapore;
  • Investment account.

General information

Purposes for which a Singapore bank account can be registered:

Personal, corporate, investment and trading accounts.

Document necessary for individuals:

To establish an individual account in Singaporean jurisdiction, you will need the following documentation:

  • Application form;
  • copy of ID;
  • residence permit in Singapore for foreign citizens;
  • address confirmation, such as a recent utility bill.

Document requirements

for enterprises:

To open an account for a company in Singapore, the package of required documents must include:

  • Application form.
  • Corporate profile of the company.
  • A copy of the identity card of the company proxy, a sample signature of the designated person.
  • Certificate of registration of the company.
  • Constituent documents of the company.

Address requirements for foreign residents:

Foreign citizens must have a local address to open a bank account in Singapore.

Is it possible to open a bank account in Singapore remotely?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Singapore without a personal presence at most banks for foreigners, however, applicants should be located in the city-state when the account opening procedure begins.

Merchant bank account availability:

E-commerce entities in Singapore can open merchant accounts.

If you're looking to establish a company within the Singaporean jurisdiction and require assistance in opening a corporate bank account, our business consultants can provide guidance and assistance at every stage of the process.

What categories of bank accounts are accessible in the confines of Singapore?

Beyond just individual clients and small to medium-sized enterprises, even major multinational corporations express interest in establishing offshore accounts in Singapore. Internationally, the city-state is lauded for its cutting-edge and forward-thinking monetary infrastructure, predominantly conducted in English. For non-residents, the primary focus typically revolves around three key account types:

  1. Savings accounts are bank such that accumulate interest while limiting withdrawals. Therefore, they are best suited if you aim to securely store and grow your funds.
  2. Current accounts: these banking accounts are designed for day-to-day payments.
  3. International currency accounts: these accounts are denominated in any currency other than the Singapore dollar. While the US dollar is the most common currency for foreign currency accounts in Singapore, exchanges in other currencies, comprising the AUD, GBP, and Hong Kong dollar, are also prevalent.

While fixed deposit accounts represent just one of the extended monetary alternatives provided in the country, the trio highlighted previously stands out as the most prevalent choices. Certain Singaporean banks extend tailored financial solutions aimed specifically at non-residents, comprising a comprehensive amalgamation of the aforementioned account types.

Establishing an account in Singapore for a non-resident in 2024

Singapore positions itself as a progressive economic capital with an international reputation. For combating monetary irregularities and adhere to transnational transparency protocols, Singaporean banks have tightened their internal policies for identifying intercontinental clients. Consequently, to enroll a foreign account in a Singaporean bank, it is imperative to either provide evidence of residency in Singapore or substantiate the necessity for establishing the account.

Official attestations of residency in Singapore encompass, for instance, a valid employment visa. In instances where an individual seeking to establish an account with a local financial institution is in the stages of acquiring such credentials, the bank, at its discretion, may consider letters of employment offer from a domestic enterprise as acceptable documentation.

When initiating the procedure to establish a non-resident account, particularly in cases where the applicant holds a directorial position in a jurisdiction-incorporated entity, it is crucial to provide the necessary documentation. This might include a corporate communication outlining the business scope or engagement, documentation from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Administration verifying the directorial responsibilities within the organization, or other pertinent papers tailored to the peculiar circumstances of the individual.


For individuals not residing within Singapore and aiming to commence a bank account within the jurisdiction in 2024, a thorough assortment of documentation is required. Although the specific requirements may vary based on the chosen financial institution and the type of account sought, typical necessities comprise:

  • Proof of identification, such as a valid passport or driver's license.
  • Confirmation of residential address (this could be a bank statement or utility invoice, or a tax return in your name).
  • A valid permit (such as an Employment Pass or Dependent Pass) or a confirmation letter that confirms the applicant's right to be in the country.
  • An extract from a bank that already has an account in the country of residence or registration.

Establishing a corporate banking account in Singapore

An integral stride in the incorporation process of an entity involves initiating a corporate banking relationship, facilitating the deposit of initial capital. While a plethora of banking institutions are available for this purpose, their fee structures and service provisions diverge. Typically, Singaporean banking institutions mandate the attendance of either the enterprise CEO or an authorized representative during the account establishment phase. The submission of requisite documentation is obligatory and encompasses the next essentials:

  • duly completed forms provided by the bank;
  • a decision to open an international account made by the company's leadership, which will indicate who will manage the account;
  • a certified copy of the company incorporation certificate;
  • a notarized copy of the company's business profile;
  • certified duplicates of the entity’s constituent papers, as well as information about executives and founders.

Resident executives are also required to furnish evidence of their residential address in Singapore. Enterprises located within this city-state have the option to establish bank accounts denominated in SGD or other foreign currencies. Singaporean financial establishments are celebrated for their extensive suite of services, with many offering the convenience of remote account registration procedures, eliminating the need for physical visits to the bank premises.

When choosing online banking in Singapore, a common inquiry among foreign contributors pertains to the accessibility of such an option. The affirmative response is prevalent, as many banks extend this possibility. It's worth noting that our company's consultants are available to help international investors interested in establishing businesses in this jurisdiction.

Initiating a merchant account in Singapore

As the presence of Singaporean enterprises in the online landscape keeps on increasing, national banks have introduced a scope of solutions to streamline transaction processing for these entities. Among these offerings, banks provide online businesses with the option to open a trading account, facilitating their digital commerce endeavors.

A trading account, by definition, fulfills the role of a pecuniary conduit for online enterprises to manage transactions received from their clientele or business affiliates. It's noteworthy that both corporate entities and individuals possess the eligibility to initiate merchant account setups within Singaporean banking institutions. The procedural formalities involved in establishing trading accounts mirror those of other account types within Singaporean financial entities.

The first phase entails identifying a suitable bank or financial entity specializing in catering to trading account requirements. Once the bank is selected, a dossier of paperwork is required, encompassing details about the seller account holder, the corporate entity, or the online platform designated for payment processing. Our team of business consultants is poised to provide comprehensive guidance on the nuances of trading accounts. Furthermore, we extend our support in the establishment of e-commerce ventures within the Singaporean domain.

It's crucial to understand that through a merchant account various types of payments can be processed. Singaporean companies handling client data must adhere to data protection regulations established by local legislation. For assistance in opening a trading account, reach out directly to our business consultants. Additionally, you can request assistance in enrolling an enterprise in Singapore.

Where to open an account in Singapore in 2024?

Singaporean banks have earned credibility as reliable pecuniary establishments, ensuring their clients a top level of asset protection. Many banks here boast an extensive network of subsidiaries, both in Asia and in European and North American countries. Singapore is additionally recognized as one of the most advanced jurisdictions globally, particularly in terms of regulating the digital asset market. Here, investors can securely store virtual assets in electronic wallets.

Our professionals can furnish comprehensive specifics on banking solutions and assist contributors in opening bank accounts in Singapore for entities of any size. Additionally, turn to us for detailed information regarding licenses for pecuniary solutions in Singapore.

In the realm of banking choices, this prominent worldwide banking metropolis welcomes a plethora of leading multinational banking institutions such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Citibank, alongside a formidable contingent of domestic banks that have solidified their positions as influential regional banking entities.

Although there are usually no monthly maintenance expenses, banking institutions levy a monthly charge if the account's average monthly balance falls below a predetermined threshold. Moreover, the majority of bank accounts in Singapore specify a minimum initial deposit, with the specific amount contingent upon the financial institution and the type of account.

For a comprehensive examination of monetary alternatives accessible to non-residents in Singaporean judicature, delve into the fundamental services provided by both domestic and multinational monetary institutions listed herein.

Large local banks:
  • United Overseas Bank, the 3rd biggest bank in Singapore by assets and ranked 91st globally, provides deposit and transaction accounts to non-residents. Physical presence at the bank is not mandatory for account registration. Bank provides an extensive range of services, including retail banking, private and commercial banking, transactional banking, and investment banking services. Through its subsidiaries, the bank also offers asset management, direct investment fund solutions, and insurance services.
  • DBS Bank, a prominent financial institution in Singapore boasting substantial assets and ranked 69th globally, has garnered acclaim as the most secure bank in the Asian region. DBS has instituted a specialized acceleration initiative tailored for fintech startups, aimed at fostering the growth of nascent enterprises and entrepreneurs by catalyzing innovative breakthroughs within the financial landscape. Numerous international investors seeking to create a corporate footprint in Asia opt to initiate accounts with DBS Bank, leveraging its extensive array of services, including but not limited to multi-currency accounts, asset management solutions, and securities transactions. Given the requisite personal presence for corporate account enrolling at DBS Bank Singapore, seeking professional guidance is highly recommended.
  • OCBC Bank, established as the second-largest financial institution in the Southeast Asian realm by assets, holds the distinction of being Singapore's most enduring bank, boasting an extensive infrastructure comprising over 420 branches and offices spanning across 15 nations. The OCBC Group is renowned for its comprehensive suite of solutions, encompassing consumer, corporate, and investment banking, as well as treasury and brokerage services, meticulously tailored to address the diverse requirements of its clientele across various sectors. Notably, the bank ranks among the top 50 safest banks globally according to the esteemed Global Finance ranking. The bank facilitates online submissions for account enrolling procedures.
Significant multinational banks:
  • Maybank Singapore, a formidable financial entity originating from neighboring Malaysia, offers a diverse spectrum of account options. Maybank Singapore Limited, vested with Qualifying Full Bank privileges, grants an expansive array of account options, catering to diverse clientele segments. This encompasses retail solutions tailored for individuals, privileged wealth, and premier wealth clientele, alongside bespoke private financial services and specialized offerings for small and medium-sized enterprises. It is pertinent to emphasize that the procedure for initiating a business account with Maybank in Singapore mandates physical attendance.
  • The Singapore division of the British monetary giant Standard Chartered is highly sought after by non-residents. The bank grants an array of services including trade financing, cash management, lending, securities services, foreign exchange, capital markets, and corporate finance. Requests to enroll an account with Standard Chartered Singapore can also be made online.
  • HSBC Singapore, another bank of British origin, provides an exclusive potential to request for establishing a bank account online. HSBC in Singapore suggests a diversity of solutions for transcontinental enterprises, national companies, private banking clients, institutional and retail users. The bank furnishes solutions such as banking accounts, deposits, debit and credit cards, online banking, payments, mortgage loans, asset management, foreign exchange, and insurance services.
  • Citibank, as the first American banking institution to establish an affiliate branch in Singapore, has since emerged as a prominent contender, commanding a substantial market presence across pivotal sectors. Among the notable strengths of Citibank Singapore are its expansive suite of offerings, encompassing international transactions, financing solutions, lending facilities, and insurance solutions. Furthermore, the bank distinguishes itself through its exemplary customer service and the convenience of remote account opening options.

Establishing an account in Singapore: benefits

Singapore, known as one of the "Four Asian Tigers," showcases a resilient and meticulously structured commercial landscape bolstered by political stability. Banking and financial frameworks in this jurisdiction wield substantial impact on the international platform. National banks are globally esteemed for their safety and reliability, consistently securing top positions in Asia on the esteemed "World's Safest Banks" index compiled by Global Finance.

Primary upsides of enrolling accounts with Singaporean banking institutions:
  1. Full incorporation into the global monetary system. Alongside security and a top level of protection, a company bank account in Singapore offers seamless access to assets.
  2. Singaporean monetary establishments have a prestigious intercontinental reputation and safety rating.
  3. The city-state hosts different top-rated establishments. Investors can leverage the numerous upsides of these banks by creating a business account.
  4. Offering distinctive banking services, such as corporate and investment operations, besides the traditional offerings.
  5. In this jurisdiction, there are over 200 monetary establishments offering a comprehensive range of services to fulfill the requirements of account holders, catering to both private and corporate clients (comprising credit facilities, insurance, and contribution advisory).
  6. Contributors may establish multi-currency accounts in Singaporean domain, enabling enterprises to run funds and initiate transactions in any currency.
  7. Elevated service standards complemented by highly skilled asset management teams.
  8. Initiating a company account in Singapore provides streamlined commercial operations on a world scale.
  9. Such banks in Singapore leverage cutting-edge technologies to enhance their solutions. A prime example is Citibank. Having a minimum deposit requirement of $200,000 USD, individuals can initiate an account and benefit from personalized assistance granted by a dedicated client relationship manager, ensuring a seamless banking experience.
  10. All the funds are assured by the insurance (SDIC) up to SGD 75,000, safeguarding them against bankruptcy perils.


Enrolling an enterprise in Singapore and setting up an account with a Singaporean bank provides access to a rapidly growing market of financial solutions, facilitates the verification of potential partners and key contributors, and elevates one's business to a multinational tier. Given the heightened world economic instability, Singapore remains a bastion of economic stability, with the diversity of international contributors aiming to register accounts in this domain progressing annually.

It is imperative to underscore that regardless of whether the account opening procedure is conducted remotely or through physical presence, it demands expert guidance and support from a seasoned consultant specializing in the field. YB Case specialists can offer comprehensive information on the legislation supervising the banking services in this country and provide support in establishing a bank account in Singapore.

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