Guide to Opening a Singapore Business Bank Account

Most banks operating in Singapore provide their clients with multiple features like ability to transfer funds from one country to another, trade facilities, debit cards, internet banking, and multi-currency accounts. The process of opening a corporate account is really easy. What is important is to understand each bank’s peculiar features to be able to select the best financial institution that will provide for your banking needs.

The purpose of this article is to impart general guidelines and information. More details can be provided by the bank of your choice, especially with regards to their latest offers and policies. You may find out more up-to-date competitive offers that will provide your company with most benefits.

General Requirements in Opening a Business Account


Physical presence

Majority of Singapore banks need directors and account signatories to be physically in the country to sign pertinent documents. Foreign banks may allow document signing at their overseas branch office. Notarised documents are generally not accepted by bank for account opening. Presence either in Singapore or at overseas branch of the bank is must.



    General document requirements are listed below. There might be other paper works that will be requested from you by the bank:

    1. Resolution from the Board of Directors authorizing the opening of the account and approving the account signatories.
    2. Certified true copy of the resolution (a pro-forma is available in many banks and authorized representatives can just affix their signatures on it)
    3. Completely filled-up Corporate Account Opening Form signed by the company’s designated signatories
    4. Certified true copies signed by the company secretary and / or any of the company’s directors of Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) of the company
    5. Proof of Residential Address of Signatories, Directors, and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners
    6. Passports of the individuals previously mentioned

    While it is true that above documents are required, for most of the banks you just need to visit their representative with your passport and a copy of Memorandum and articles of association. Banks will generate all prefilled forms using their computerized system.


      Banks own due diligence process

      In case of foreign individuals and corporates, each bank has their own due diligence process and they will usually like to know the purpose of Singapore account, about your business in home country.

        List of Singapore’s Major Local Banks

        Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)

        OCBC’s S$220-billion asset under management has propelled the bank as one of Singapore-Malaysia’s biggest financial establishments. This institution that was founded in 1912 was ranked number one by Asia Risk 2008 End-User Survey in the “Top 5 Regional Banks” category. Overall OCBC is rated as best bank for overseas SMEs intending to register business in Singapore.

        Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)

        Asset-wise, DBS is considered as the largest bank in the country and the whole of Southeast Asia. It was founded in 1968 and now serves over four million retail customers in Singapore and another million in Hong Kong. The Bankers ranked DBS in 2008 14th among top 200 Asian banks.

        United Overseas Bank (UOB)

        UOB started its operations in 1935 and has established a solid reputation in the Asia-Pacific region. The Edge-Lipper Singapore Funds conferred the “Best Overall Fund Group in Singapore” award to UOB in 2008. By the end of 2007, the bank had an asset amounting to S$175 billion.

        Foreign Banks Operating in Singapore

        ABN-AMRO (Head office in Netherlands)

        BNP Paribas (Head office in France)

        Citibank (Head office in the USA)

        Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) (Head office in the United Kingdom)

        Maybank (Head office in Malaysia)

        Standard Chartered Bank (Head office in the United Kingdom)

        CIMB Bank (Head office in Malaysia)

        ICICI Bank (Head office in India)

        State bank of India (Head office in India)

        Indian overseas Bank (Head office in India)

        Commerzebank (Head office in Germany)

        ANZ Group (Head office in Australia)


        Different banks have different polices about which we can guide you. In general if you do not have existing relationship with a foreign banks then the Singapore local banks will be ideal for you. All the Singapore local banks are stable, secure (in top 15 safest banks list) and offer full internet banking facilities.