After moving to the new country, one of the first things you’d want to do is to open a personal account in the local bank. In this article, we would go through the requirements for Employment Pass holders to open a regular account in one of three leading banks of Singapore.
DBS (Development Bank of Singapore) was set up by the Singapore Government in 1968. Today it’s the largest bank in Southeast Asia with total assets of S$579 billion as of 2019. It has branches in China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, United Kingdom and the United States. Walking around Singapore, you would also see a lot of POSB ATMs, which is a bank under DBS.
OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation) is the second biggest bank in Southeast Asia with total assets of S$491 billion as of 2019. The bank is represented in China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The third biggest bank in the region is also a Singaporean bank. UOB (United Overseas Bank) has total assets of S$404 billion as of 2019. Aside from Singapore, it operates in China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
How to open an account?
DBS allows EP holders to apply for a bank account opening online . You would only need to log in the systems using your SingPass, fill in the form and attach the required documents. DBS encourages new clients to apply online. That’s why the process is free of charge. If you still decide to go to one of the bank’s branches and open an account there — you would need to top up the initial deposit of S$3000.
OCBC and UOB allow online account opening only for citizens or Permanent Residents of Singapore . EP holders need to proceed to one of the branches and apply there. The initial deposit you need to provide upfront for both banks is S$1000.
To open you an account, all of the banks would request the same records from you. You are required to provide:
- Passport with at least six months of validity (biodata page);
- Employment pass or In Principal Approval (IPA) issued by the Ministry of Manpower
- Proof of residential address – the latest copy of any of the items below:
- In-Principle Approval (IPA) issued by the Ministry of Manpower
- Work permit of foreign domestic worker (domestic helper) issued by the Ministry of Manpower
- Letter of offer
- Letter of employment
- Latest payslip
- Local utility bill
- Local telecommunication bill
- Local bank statement/credit card statement
- Letter issued by the government of other public bodies regulated for AML practices in a FATF member country
- Letter from regulated insurance companies in a FATF member country
- Letter from school (restricted to official letters from educational institutions or schools under the purview of Council for Private Education or Ministry of Education)
Deciding which bank to choose is up to your preferences. Each of them provides customers with their privilege programmes and mobile payment systems. No matter which bank you pick for yourself, keep in mind that Singapore’s banking system is one of the strongest in the world. Therefore your assets would be safe.