Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore
According to the World Bank, Singapore is the most convenient country to do business and the most competitive Asian country in the world. After decades of rapid development, Singapore has become a global metropolis of “trade centre + financial centre + headquarters economy + investment centre”. To open a corporate bank account in Singapore, Singapore companies/offshore companies are free to settle international trade funds, and there are no exchange controls, funds can be transferred freely, and various currencies can be freely convertible through bank accounts in Singapore.
READ: Banks here extend aid for retail, business customers
Procedures and requirements
Requirements and procedures to open a corporate account are quite similar across various banks in Singapore, we have compared and summarised the requirements of 4 selected banks for their corporate bank accounts.
The physical presence of signatory/directors in Singapore to sign relevant documents (usually requires two directors). PS: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many banks are accepting video calls to fulfil the requirement of the physical presence of signatories.
READ: Singapore banks pledge no job cuts due to Covid-19
Commonly required documents:
- Completed KYC Form
- Passport/NRIC of Directors, Signatories, and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners.
- Proof of residential address (ID card, utility bills dated recent 3 months)
- Completed and signed Corporate Account Opening Forms
- Board of Directors Resolution
- Incorporation files (Bizfile, Constitution)
Introduction of Selected Banks in Singapore
DBS Bank is one of the largest banks in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The bank’s strong capital position earned its reputation to be the first bank ever to concurrently hold three of the most prestigious global best bank honours: The World’s Best Bank 2019, Euromoney, Global Bank of the Year 2018, The Banker and Best Bank in the World 2018, Global Finance. DBS has branches and offices in mainland China, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom and the United States.
UOB Bank is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 branches and offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Recognised as an excellent and professionally managed financial institution, UOB earns a series of accolades and awards from leading publications and organisations in the financial services industry, such as the Triple A Country Awards 2019, ABF Corporate & Investment Banking Awards 2018 and AsiaMoney’s Best Awards 2019 for Best Digital Bank (Singapore).
OCBC Bank has a global network of over 600 branches and representative officers in 18 countries and territories. The bank was awarded World’s Best Bank (Asia-Pacific) in 2019 and consistently ranked amongst the top 5 Safest Banks in the world by Global Finance magazine, Asian Banker named OCBC Bank Singapore’s strongest bank for 2018-2019, and fifth strongest bank in Asia-Pacific. OCBC, being the oldest established Singapore bank and the second-largest financial services group in Southeast Asia has fought off stiff competition to win the Euromoney award for Asia’s Best Bank for SMEs in 2019.
Citibank has been in Singapore since 1902 and is represented in nearly every asset class. Citi Singapore is the largest foreign banking employer in Singapore, and it is home to strategically important hubs, Innovation Labs and the Asia Pacific Citi Service Centre (CSC). Recently, it earned its Awards for Excellence 2019 by Euromoney for Best Investment Bank in Singapore. In 2017, Citi was awarded ‘Best Bank – Global’ by The Asset Triple A Country Awards, Best International Bank in Singapore by Asiamoney, Best Bank in Singapore by Euromoney and Best Foreign Bank in Singapore for the 20th year by FinanceAsia. Citi Singapore was also awarded the Best Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Singapore by Asiamoney for 2017.
You may refer to the following table for information on minimum balances and fees of corporate account banks.
READ: Banks here cut deposit rates in line with global markets
Other Things to look out on opening a corporate bank account
The bank’s reputation. Reputation is one of the most valuable and fragile assets that a bank can have, assessing a bank’s reputational risk is an extremely important process for all companies considering which banks to go for. After all, reputation is the key to building public and consumer trust.
Physical and digital presence. While we see banks prioritizing and driving digital banking, some customers prefer the physical presence of banks. Both are equally important and it is worth spending some effort to consider which suits your needs and preference.
Banking convenience and banking hours. Sunday banking, extended banking hours, retail banking centres, banker assisted lobbies and virtual banking, etc., are just a few ways the banks had provided for banking convenience. Institutional consumers should consider their operational needs and identify which services would truly help their businesses grow.
Automated, self-service and digital banking. Automation is a growing focus in global banking and many banks are rolling out the top-notch automation technologies, especially artificial intelligence, to connect customers, allowing them to perform a fleet of financial transactions.
Fees and banking charges. More than just a price war, banks are revising their pricing guides for transparency and delineating their scope of products & services. Bank fees are nominal fees for a variety of account set-up and maintenance, and minor transactional services for retail and business customers. Fees can be one-time, ongoing or related to penalties. Particularly you may want to check the account maintenance and minimum balance fees.
Relationship managers and advisors. Some banks provide corporate relationship managers to be the liaison between business customers and the bank. They are the key person representing the bank. However, some customers prefer not to have a relationship manager, so you should check with the bank if a manager is assigned to be your liaison.
Customer services and support. Customer service in banking is one of the most important ways to keep customers coming bank. Look out for friendly, knowledgeable bank employees who are well trained, positive and can address your concerns and provide the solutions. Assess how the customer service responds to you questions and complaints in a thorough and timely manner by interacting with them through face-to-face meetings, telephone, mail fax and email.
Keep your required paperwork and documents organized. A positive and good experience does not depend solely on the bank. You must put in the effort to ensure that your paperwork is complete and accurate. The banking and finance industry is strictly governed and heavily regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, you must prepare all the documents before making arrangements with the banks to open your corporate bank account.
READ: OECD: Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India
At Acrabiz, we provide consultancy and corporate bank account opening services. Contact us to find out how you can open a bank account swiftly.