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Comprehensive Guide for the Opening Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of requirements for opening corporate bank account and to assist you with choosing a bank for the banking needs of your Singapore company. The focus is on banking needs of small to mid-size companies. Note that the information presented here is for general guidance only. Once you have narrowed down your choice to a few banks, you should confirm the account features with the bank(s) directly to ensure you are aware of their latest policies and offerings. Banks work in a very competitive environment and periodically make adjustments to their offerings to stay competitive.

If you are looking to open bank account for your offshore company (i.e. BVI company and etc), please refer to Bank Account Opening Guide for Offshore Company
Generally, banks in Singapore require you to have the following items (after opening company in Singapore) in order to open a corporate bank account for your Singapore-incorporated company:
– A resolution by the board of directors approving the opening corporate bank account and specifying the signatories to the account. Alternatively, the board can use the pre-approved format prescribed by a bank that simply requires the signatures of the directors.
– Standard account-opening forms signed by the abovementioned authorized signatories
– Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
– Copy of Company’s Business Profile from ACRA
– Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
– Copies of passports (or Singapore national identification cards) and proofs of residential addresses for directors, signatories, and ultimate beneficial owners.
– Copy of Certificate of Incumbency of the holding company (applicable for corporate shareholder only). Certificate of Incumbency is An official document that lists the names of incumbent directors and officers within an organization, and their corporate position within it. An Incumbency Certificate is used as confirmation of the identity of the signing authorities of a company and to prove that they are authorized to enter into legally-binding transactions on the company’s behalf.

Most banks require that the account signatories and directors to be physically present in Singapore for the signing of official documentation at the time of opening of corporate bank account. However, some banks accept documents that are signed in-person at one of their overseas branches or witnessed by a notary public. Additionally, the banks may require additional documents on a case-by-case basis.

Be forewarned that all banks in Singapore must comply with stringent laws and regulations. They therefore will carry out a comprehensive series of checks and investigations on their potential clients before opening a new account for a company. This is not only to safeguard their risks against any potential default, but also are a part of their regulatory compliance and stringent anti-money-laundering policies— as you may know, Singapore is very serious about combating terrorist financing and other transactions of illegal or doubtful nature. Thus, a company involved in dealings that are not above-board will not find it easy to engage in such transactions.

Depending on the amount of investigation that a bank carries out to confirm the identity and/or creditworthiness of the directors, secretary and the company itself, it may take between few weeks and three months to open a new company bank account. The processing time can be longer for opening corporate bank account without physically presence in Singapore.

Lastly, we highly recommend that you be present in Singapore to complete the corporate bank account opening process to avoid any delay. A bank always reserves the right to request that the beneficial owner be physically present prior to the approval of a bank account opening application.

In general, we will charge from $100 (W/GST $107) for signing of the bank account opening form by our company secretary / nominee director in our office, if required. For outgoing signing of documents, an extra charge from $250 (W/GST $267.50) will apply.

For opening of bank accounts for a sole-director Company, we can assist free-of-charge if you open bank account(s) with OCBC bank. . If you are arranging for bank account(s) to be opened at your own preferred bank by yourself, please be reminded to let us have a copy of the signed bank’s standard form containing the resolution to open the account(s) for our records. If you require our nominee director/secretary to sign on the bank account opening forms, a director’s resolution must be prepared to authorise the director/company secretary to sign on behalf of the Company and the bank documents are completed by the banker and signed in our office. Our fees for assisting in the preparation of the resolution and signing on the bank documents is from $100 (W/GST $107) depending on the bank.

Kindly be reminded to check with your bank whether they will allow the documents to be signed without physical presence in the bank branch. If you require our nominee director/secretary to provide outgoing signing of documents at the bank branch, an extra charge from $250 (W/GST $267.50) is applicable.

For opening of bank accounts for a company with 2 directors or more (excluding our nominee director), please arrange for a minimum of 2 directors to be present for the bank account opening as per bank’s requirement. In the event that only 1 of your directors is able to be present, you will have to arrange for another director to have his signature verified at an oversea branch of the bank. However, please note that not all bank will have such option of signature verification at their oversea branch and such verification at oversea branch will generally have a lower approval rate.

For companies with corporate shareholders, the banks will require the registration documents of the corporate shareholders and they must be notarised by a notary public, practising accountant or lawyer who are registered and searchable via their professional website. If we are required to provide further certification on these documents, we will require the local director (other than those using our nominee director services) to also certify on them and our extra charges will apply.

For bank account opening process, we can only provide documents certification services including copy of passport/NRIC only if the bearers are present in our office and the original documents are produced. Extra charges is applicable. For any other oversea registration documents which no original are produced, the documents must be notarised and the original notarised documents sent to us before we can assist with certification.

For opening of bank account with certain banks is free of charge if the Company is incorporated by 3E Accounting. Please refer to Singapore Company Incorporation for the details.

The key features of each Singapore banks are highlighted as follows for your references.

For more information about local banks in Singapore, please refer to Comparison of features of the local banks in Singapore – DBS, OCBC, UOB

OCBC Bank
– Initial deposit is $3,000 for SGD account and US$500 for USD account.
– Opening corporate bank account in our office / at your designated places is available and free of charges
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available for SGD account
– For international branch available, please click International Presence.

DBS Bank
– Initial deposit is $3,000 for SGD account and US$1,000 for USD account. See the Pricing Guide for detail.
– Minimum 1 director and the bank signatory must presence at the DBS branch for opening of bank account.
– Local director and foreign director can presence separately at the DBS branch for opening of bank account.
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available
– For international branch available, please [Click: Our Global Offices, Main Subsidiaries and Associated Companies].
– Thoroughly assessment will be performed on the Company by the DBS bank officer. High rejection rate for newly start up foreign-own company. (Unless the owner of the Company has good personal banking relationship with them)

UOB Bank
– Initial deposit is $1,000
– Opening corporate bank account must be complete in UOB branches. We will charge $200 (W/GST $214) for signing of the bank account opening form at Novena UOB branches. Extra charges are applicable to assist with opening of bank account with other UOB bank branch.
– Local director and foreign director must be present together at the UOB branch for opening of bank account. (There is an additional charge from $200 (W/GST $214) if you need our local director to accompany you to the UOB branch for opening of bank account).
– Internet banking is available
– Debit card or ATM card is available
– Thoroughly assessment will be performed on the Company by the UOB bank officer. High rejection rate for newly start up foreign-own company. (Unless the owner of the Company has good personal banking relationship with them)

State Bank of India, Singapore (“SBI Singapore”)
– Initial deposit is $2,000 for SGD account and US$5,000 for USD account.
– $20 service fee is chargeable if average monthly balance falls below SGD 2,000 and US$ 5,000.
– Annual maintenance fee of $50 is chargeable.
– Internet banking is available for statement viewing only.
– Debit card or ATM card is available

Standard Chartered Bank (“SCB”)
– Initial deposit is $30,000 for SGD account and USD account.
– $100 service fee is chargeable if average monthly balance falls below $30,000.
– Opening corporate bank account at SCB branch is available and $200 (W/GST $214) charge is applied for signing of bank account opening form.
– Internet banking is available
– ATM card is available

HSBC Bank
– For opening the HSBC corporate accounts, the client needs a initial deposit of USD 100k and a monthly balance of USD 100k. The estimated turnover required will be USD 3 million a year.
– You are recommended to have physical office and having 3 years of business operation in Singapore before opening corporate bank account with HSBC.
– High rejection rate for small newly start up company.

CITI Bank
– For opening the corporate accounts, the client needs a initial deposit of SGD 50k and a monthly min balance of SGD 50k. The estimated turnover required will be USD 2 million to 2.5 million a year.
– High rejection rate for small newly start up company.

Do not hesitate to contact us at 3e@3ecpa.com.sg should you have any queries for the opening corporate bank account always.