Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Singapore companies have plenty of options when it comes to opening a corporate bank account. Most of the banks in Singapore offer attractive features such as multi-currency accounts, internet banking, credit cards, trade financing, freedom to move funds across countries, and more. Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore is a relatively simple and straight-forward procedure. However, it is important to compare the corporate accounts features of the various banks in order to select the bank that comes closest to meeting the particular needs of your company.

The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the requirements for opening an account, and will assist you in choosing a bank that best matches the banking needs of your company. The focus in this guide is on the banking needs of small to mid-size companies.
Note that the information presented here is for general guidance only. Once you have narrowed down your choice to a few banks, you should confirm the account features with the respective bank(s) directly, to ensure you are aware of their latest policies and offerings. Banks operate in a very competitive environment and are periodically adjusting their offerings to remain competitive.

Singapore Account Opening Requirements

In general, most banks have the following requirements for opening a corporate bank account in Singapore:

1) Many banks require that the account signatories and majority directors be physically present in Singapore for paperwork signing at the time of opening the company bank account. Some banks may accept the signing of documents at one of their overseas branches or in front of a Notary Public.

2) Typically, the banks would require the documents listed below. Additional documents may be required by the bank on a case-by-case basis.

  • Completed Corporate Account Opening Forms (signed by authorized signatories as per the board resolution)
  • Board of Directors Resolution sanctioning the opening of the account and the signatories to the account (to be prepared by your company secretary)
  • Certified True Copy of Resolution sanctioning the opening of the account and the signatories to the account (most of the banks have their own format and you just need to sign it)
  • Certified True Copy of Certificate of Incorporation (must be certified by the company secretary or one of the directors)
  • Certified True Copy of Company’s Business Profile from Company Registrar (must be certified by the company secretary or one of the directors)
  • Certified True Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) (must be certified by the company secretary or one of the directors)
  • Certified True Copies of Passport (or Singapore IC) and Residential Address Proof of the Directors, Signatories, and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners. If you are in Singapore, just bring the originals and the bank will make a copy.

Local Banks in Singapore

Feature DBS OCBC
Can the account be opened without being physically present in Singapore?** Physical presence is strongly recommended for all the banks to avoid delays.

No. The executive director and authorized signatory must be present, for a face-to-face meeting. However, some exceptions may be made on a case by case basis subject to the bank’s discretion.

DBS Bank offer online applications where you can potentially skip the branch visit and save time – account verification can be done over Facetime/Skype or a phone call, subject to the bank’s conditions.

No. The executive director and authorized signatory must be present, for a face-to-face meeting. However, some exceptions may be made on a case by case basis subject to the bank’s discretion.
Singapore Dollar Current Account
Setup fee None None. However, there is an account fee of S$38 per month (waived for 1st 3 months)
Deposit required S$1,000 to S$3,000 S$3,000
Minimum balance required

DBS Digital Business Account has no minimum balance requirement. 

DBS Business Account requires an average monthly balance of S$10,000; or S$35 monthly fee will apply.

Average monthly balance of S$5,000 (waived for 1st 6 months). Thereafter, S$35 per month if monthly average balance falls below S$5,000.
Debit card Yes, no annual fees. Earn 0.3% cash rebate on all charges. Yes, with S$5,000 daily cash withdrawal limit and with S$10,000 daily debit card transaction limit.
Cheque book

S$25/book for DBS Digital Business Account.

Free-of-charge with DBS Business Account.

Yes
Credit card Yes, subject to approval**For local entities. No. Debit card available linked to SGD account.
Internet banking Yes, free access. Enquiries, local payments, overseas payments. No max transaction amount limit (unless set by the customer). Full transactional capabilities on desktop and mobile app versions. Yes. Enquiries, local payments, overseas payments. No max transaction amount limit (unless set by the customer).
Foreign Currency Account
Foreign currency account availability Both current account and fixed deposit account available in major currencies. Both current account and fixed deposit account available in major currencies.
Initial deposit required Varies based on currency (For example, USD1,000 and EUR8,00). Varies based on currency (For example, USD1,000 and EUR1,000).
Minimum balance Varies based on currency (For example, USD1,000 and EUR800). Depends on the currency type, normally equivalent to US$500/EUR500.
Cheque book Yes, for certain currencies. Yes, for USD.
Debit Card Yes. No.
Internet banking Yes, free access. Enquiries, local payments, overseas payments. No max transaction amount limit (unless set by the customer). Full transactional capabilities on desktop and mobile app versions including DealOnline FX platform. Yes. Enquiries, local payments, overseas payments. No max transaction amount limit (unless set by the customer).
Credit Card Yes, subject to approval. No.
Related Services
Business Insurance Yes Yes
Treasury Services: FX Spots, Bonds, IR Swaps, FX Options, Futures, Forwards, etc. Yes Yes
Business Loans**Generally the entity must have been in operation for a minimum of 1-3 years Yes. Loan amount depends on factors such as company history, number of employees, local shareholding, etc. Yes. Loan amount depends on factors such as company history, number of employees, local shareholding, etc.
Accounts Payable Services: cashier’s order, DD, TT, interbank GIRO payment, internal fund transfer, cheque issuance services Yes Yes
Accounts Receivable Services: incoming TT, bill payment services, GIRO Collections Yes Yes
Liquidity Management Services Yes Yes
Trade Finance Services: Import Products, Export Products, Bank Guarantees Yes Yes

International Banks in Singapore

Feature Maybank (FlexiBiz) Standard Chartered CitiBank (CitiBusiness)
Can the account be opened without being physically present in Singapore?

 

 

** Physical presence is strongly recommended for all the banks to avoid delays.

We require face to face meeting for all authorised signatories in account opening as part of our due diligence process. However, in exceptional cases where one of the directors (not major shareholder nor authorised signatory) is unable to come to Singapore, we can arrange for the client to visit one of our overseas branches (London, New York, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos & Myanmar) where they will assist to verify the documents and signature before sending back to Singapore for processing. No. The executive director and authorized signatory must be present, for the due diligence meeting with the bank officer. However, some exceptions may be made subject to the bank’s discretion – e.g. existing customers can go to the bank’s branch or appointed agent worldwide, for identification verification and due diligence teleconference. No. The executive director and authorized signatory must be present, for a face-to-face meeting. However, some exceptions may be made on a case by case basis subject to the bank’s discretion.
Singapore Dollar Current Account
Setup fee Nil None Nil
Initial deposit required S$1,000 S$30,000 S$100,000 or equivalent (USD equivalent for USD account).
Minimum balance required Nil. Average monthly balance of S$30,000; or S$50 monthly fee will apply. S$50,000 or S$100 monthly fee will apply (same applies for both SGD and USD account).
*Minimum balance is based on total relationship balance rather than per account.
ATM card No. No. Nil.
Cheque book Yes. Yes. Yes.
Credit card Yes^ No. Debit card available (only linked to SGD). Corporate commercial cards available.
Internet banking Yes. Yes. One-off setup fee of S$50 will apply. Yes.
Foreign Currency Account
Foreign currency account availability USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, HKD Both current account and fixed deposit account available in major currencies. Both current account and fixed deposit account available in major currencies.
Initial deposit $1,000 (in respective currencies, except for HKD $10,000). US$30,000 (Varies based on currency). S$100,000 or equivalent (USD equivalent for USD account).
Minimum balance $1,000 (in respective currencies, except for HKD $10,000). Varies based on currency. Average monthly balance of US$200,000, or S$200 monthly fee will apply
*Minimum balance is based on total relationship balance rather than per account.
Cheque book For USD only. For USD only. Yes.
ATM Card No. No. Nil.
Internet banking Yes. Yes. One-off setup fee of S$50 will apply. Yes.
Credit Card Yes^ No. Yes.
Related Services
Business Insurance Yes. Yes. No.
Treasury Services: FX Spots, Bonds, IR Swaps, FX Options, Futures, Forwards, etc. Yes. Yes, depending on business activities. Yes.
Business Loans Yes. Generally the entity must have been in operation for a minimum of 1-3 years. Yes. Loan amount depends on factors such as company history, number of employees, local shareholding, etc. Minimum 3 years of financial statements required. Yes. Subject to the bank’s assessment.
Accounts Payable Services: cashier’s order, DD, TT, interbank GIRO payment, internal fund transfer, cheque issuance services Yes. Yes. Yes.
Accounts Receivable Services: incoming TT, bill payment services, GIRO Collections Yes. Yes. Yes.
Liquidity Management Services Yes. Info not available. Yes.
Trade Finance Services: Import Products, Export Products, Bank Guarantees Yes. Yes. Yes.
^ Maybank provides business credit card with the following criteria:

Director(s) must be aged between 21 and 60; Company must be registered in Singapore (ACRA) with at least one local Director (Singaporean or Singapore PR); Company must be in operation for at least 2 years, with an annual sales turnover of at least S$200,000; If newly incorporated, alternative option is to apply for a business credit card fully secured via time deposit with the bank (Min S$10K limit).

In Summary

Almost all major banks of the world have their presence in Singapore. Banks are generally happy to open a corporate bank account for any company (whether Singapore or offshore) as long as the necessary paperwork is submitted and the banks are satisfied with the information provided for purposes of their internal due diligence.

Need help to open a Singapore bank account?

Hawksford offer unparalleled subject-matter expertise and comprehensive end-to-end support for all manner of establishing and managing business in Singapore.

Find out how Hawksford can help

Need a tax & accounting professional's help?

Let our experienced team help you with managing your accounting, tax and payroll issues. Find out what the services that Hawksford provides.

Learn more

Back to top