Things to Look Out For
The bank of your choice would ultimately depend on what you want out of your bank account. However, due to the steep competition between banks and financial institutions these days, you would probably find that there are many attractive benefits for those who are looking to open corporate bank accounts. Some banks even waive bank charges for certain processes for a given time.
All these should be taken into consideration because they would go towards savings for your company. Still, it is always good to scrutinise in full detail the benefits on offer because it might turn out that subsequent charges after the waiver period is higher than normal.
The Length of Time
Fees and Deposits
Services and Features
At the end of the day, just like in any country around the world, it is highly important that banking and financial regulations are sound. Singapore, like Hong Kong is one of the preferred financial centre in Asia today. It boasts one of the most stringent banking laws in the world and that is why its financial institutions are respected all over. The processing time is short.When opening a bank account in Singapore, you would just need to be prepared with all necessary documentation and you would be able to get it approved within a number of weeks.
To find out more information about each bank, there are various forums and websites to access in order to get a hold on requirements. Alternatively, you can go to each bank branch directly to speak to the customer service officer there or try calling them during opening hours. They would be more than happy to give you assistance in opening your bank account in Singapore. Once you have all the information, you would then be able to make a more informed choice on the bank that you would want to set up your corporate account in.
In the current Internet age, internet banking is widely available in all banks including their corporate bank accounts.
If you are opening a bank account in Singapore, then you need our expertise to ensure that you open the right account, in no time at all.
Things to Look Out For- The Length of Time
This is very subjective as all banks work on a different timeline. It also depends on the types of checks that each bank would go through for every submission. Bear in mind that the banks in Singapore are governed by stringent laws to ensure that financial regulations are upheld at all times. As such, each bank would scrutinise each application to ensure that everything is above board.However, a rule of thumb is that it would not take more than 4 weeks to get everything approved. This would be the maximum number of weeks required if the bank is not satisfied with your first application. In order to avoid a delay in the opening of your account, it is always wise to get information on the full list of documentation required before the start of the process itself.
Things to Look Out For- Fees and Deposits
Singapore houses many local and foreign banks so you are in luck. If you are a foreigner looking to incorporate a company in Singapore, chances are you would find a bank that is also based in your home country. Some foreign banks that you will be able to find in Singapore include American Express Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank Singapore Limited. A majority of the foreign banks however are not engaged in retail banking.Then it’s just a question of opening another account in the branch in Singapore. You can expect the fees and initial deposits to range between SGD1,000 to SGD100,000. At any one time, you would also need to ensure that your bank account balance is at a level which has been agreed upon with the bank. If it dips below the minimum, you will be charged additional fees on that.
Things to Look Out For- Services and Features
Most expat companies are projected to be working in Singapore for many years. For this reason, before signing the papers for a corporate account with a Singapore bank, it is important to first learn and review the features and terms the account operates on as it will reduce unnecessary change and have a higher chance of maintaining healthy associations with the bank.In order to make a fully informed decision, it is always wise to consider the options and features that will be offered to you. As mentioned earlier, Singapore banks do offer a wide variety of services that can be utilised. These may include daily ATM withdrawal limit, freedom to move funds across countries and difference currencies such as the US dollar (USD). Some details on other services are:
- Internet Banking Facility – these are highly secure and allow you to perform certain transactions without physically having to be at the bank itself. This includes the ability to transfer funds between banks, bill payments, credit card payments and other transactions can be done online. All you basically need would be an Internet connection in order to be able to complete the transactions. Secure internet banking protocols are utilised in Singapore so you do not need to worry about the risk of losing your passwords. Personally dealing with finances thus becomes a much better experience.
- Overseas Cash Withdrawal – if you are frequently travelling on company business to other countries such as nearby Malaysia or faraway UK, this service will come in very handy indeed. Although a transaction fee would be incurred if you utilise your ATM card outside of Singapore, this feature comes in very handy indeed should there be an emergency situation which involves a need for cash.
- Inward and Outward Remittance – Companies which processes mass inflow and outflow of money will be able to benefit from such a feature. If this is the hinging factor for the setting up of your bank account, do be mindful to query on the limit of money that can be transferred via this facility. Certain banks might impose different limits.
Singapore Local Banks
It was reported that in 2009 that OCBC profit went up by 12% on non-interest income. This was an amazing set of results following the 2008 financial crisis.OCBC is a supporter of local startup new companies and has made it easy for new companies to open a corporate bank account. Called the OCBC Entrepreneur Account, it has a low initial deposit of only $500. As you are a new business, they will not charge a minimum balance fee for the first 6 months. If you are a Singaporean company, the approval is usually immediate with a cheque book issued on the spot. A debit card is also provided for easy online transactions. OCBC Entrepreneur Account also offer the added service of SMS notifications for any cheque credited or debited. These add-on services usually have their own separate fees.
UOB has been a trusted authority in corporate banking with branches in many locations. For the UOB Corporate/ Current Account, there is a minimum balance fee of $8,000. Anything below the balance amount, will result in $25 monthly fee charged. Instead of a debit card, UOB issues an ATM card instead.UOB accounts like all other local banks do require the presence of the executive and authorized signatory before the account can be opened. UOB offers the flexibility of free cheques for the 1st 30 cheques each month.
In 1998, DBS Bank merged with POSB Bank
, allowing it to receive a dominant market share with over four million customers. It is now the most widely recognized bank in Singapore among citizens. If you are a company intending to target the Singaporean market, a DBS company bank account is highly recommended. Most Singaporeans have a default DBS account and this makes collection of payment much easier.DBS recently launched a DBS Entrepreneur’s Account for Start-ups that makes it business friendly for new entrepreneurs. The minimum initial deposit is only $500 and they waive off any fall-below fees for 6 months. Following that, the minimum balance amount is $8,000. DBS will also waive the cost of the security token (for online banking). Some of the other local banks might charge for issuing this token for corporate bank accounts.DBS also has email/sms notifications available for incoming and outgoing transactions.DBS is also well established outside of Singapore. DBS has a 99%-owned subsidiary in Indonesia and also operates through a network of 12 bank branches in India with its headquarters in the commercial capital of India. DBS Bank launched The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) on May 7, 2007, after receiving official approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore
for a full bank licence. IB Asia’s founding shareholders include majority stakeholder DBS and 34 Middle Eastern investors from prominent families and industrial groups from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.