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Bank Account

A corporate bank account is among the key basics of incorporating a company in Singapore. Singapore houses 127 commercial banks, out of which 5 are local and 122 are foreign banks. These 122 foreign banks differ in terms of the type of licenses they have; such as, 28 are complete foreign banks, 56 are whole banks and 38 belong to the offshore category of banks.

Types of Local Banks

The 6 former local banking groups, consolidated into the recent 3 major local banks (DBS, OCBC and UOB) brought in the following benefits:

  • Consolidated bank competencies, structured management hierarchies and more effective operations.
  • Broader scope of commercial operations
  • Value add to business and risk management facilities.
  • Made local banks single solution points, all geared up to meet every need of their banking customers.
  • Financial gains from mergers and a competitive domestic environment
  • Local banks have taken up overseas ventures at the same time, strengthened their local presence by foreign acquisitions.

Major Local Banks

  • OCBC (Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation) is among the largest financial establishments in the Singapore-Malaysia market possessing assets worth S$184 billion. It is ranked the highest in Asia Risk End-User’s Survey 2008 “Top 5 Regional Banks”
  • UOB (United Overseas Bank) instituted in 1935, is a bank of high prominence in Singapore. It is well-established in the Asia-Pacific region. As on 31 December 2007, the total value of UOB Group’s total assets were S$175.0 billion. It received the award for the “Best Overall Fund Group in Singapore” at The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2008.
  • DBS (Development Bank of Singapore) is the largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia, in terms of assets. It tops the list of consumer banks in Singapore and Hong Kong, catering to more than 4 million wholesale and 1 million retail customers. Presently, it has than 80 branches in Singapore. It has been rated 14th in The Banker’s list of “Top 200 Asian Banks 2008”.

Types of Global Banks

Global banks, totaling 117 in number, are differentiated on the basis of the following categories:

  • Full Banks

    One-stop institutions with provisions to cater to every type of banking need of corporate clients as well as individuals. The banks that top this list are Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, and Maybank.

  • Wholesale Banks

    These are branches of overseas banks offering all types of banking services. However, they are disallowed within the SGD retail activity realm. National Australia Bank, Deutsche Bank, or ING Bank are instances of wholesale banks.

  • Merchant Banks

    These banks serve corporate bodies’ by managing their finances, underwriting (subscription to bonds and shares for furthering them to investors), making investment strategies, union of companies and other business/investment linked services. A few such banks are Barclays Merchant Bank Singapore Ltd or Credit Suisse Singapore Ltd.

    Largest Foreign Banks in Singapore
    • 1. HSBC

      Singapore HSBC offers retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services.

    • 2. Standard Chartered Bank

      In the present day scenario, it has 15 branches all over Singapore, 5 Priority Banking centers, 31 ATMs and a workforce of more than 9000 people.

    • 3. Citibank

      Citibank has more than 15 branches and 181 ATM locations with around 1600 consumer banking employees. Citibank offers personal banking, credit cards, home loan, deposits, insurances and investment.

Requirements to Open a Bank Account

To open a Singapore corporate bank account, the following essential documents are required:

  • 1. Filled up forms for opening a corporate bank account with the signatures of directors/signatories;
  • 2. Adjudication formulated on the board of directors that approves the opening of this type of an account;
  • 3. A copy of the certificate of the afore-mentioned resolution (some banks have customized forms);
  • 4. A copy of the certificate of incorporation (with the signatures of the director and secretary);
  • 5. A copy of the certificate of the firm’s business profile (from ACRA) – with the director’s and the secretary’s signatures;
  • 6. A copy of the certificate of the M&AA signed by the director and the secretary;
  • 7. Copies of the certificates of passports/Singapore ICs of the directors/signatories.

To learn more about what bank account options are available for your Singapore business, please contact us.

Thank you for your interest in Pearson.

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