In this article, we’re sharing how to open an offshore bank account in Singapore for foreign non-resident individuals and entities.
This article is based on our team’s experience helping members from around the world successfully open offshore bank accounts in Singapore. This includes opening offshore accounts for individuals, companies, and wealth management entities both in person and remotely.
In the following sections, we’ll break down your offshore banking options in Singapore, including who can open a Singaporean bank account, the benefits of offshore banking in Singapore, and the key reasons why you might want to consider banking here in the first place.
If you want access to our free series on banking in Singapore, click the link above and unlock our team’s expert take on Singaporean banks, Singapore banking requirements, personal and business banking in Singapore, and much more.
You can also use the table of contents and jump to the section that matches your offshore banking needs in Singapore below.
Table of Contents
- Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore
- Who Can Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore?
- Benefits of Offshore Banking in Singapore?
- Frequently Asked Singapore Banking Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Singapore Bank Accounts?
Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore
An offshore bank account in Singapore can be opened by both foreign non-resident individuals and entities. However, Singapore banks do have restrictions on citizenship and residency. Likewise, compared to other offshore banking jurisdictions, account opening deposits are higher and account opening can be more of a challenge.
Of course, in order to successfully open a bank account in Singapore, applicants need to select a suitable Singaporean bank, complete AML and KYC procedures, and make a qualifying deposit. The Singapore deposit requirements typically start around USD 180,000, depending on the type of offshore account you want to open. Of course, if you are looking to access private banking in Singapore you can expect deposits in the range of USD 3,000,000.
Of course, regardless of the level of deposit you’re looking to make, there are risks when banking in Singapore that you need to consider. Likewise, if you don’t select the right bank, the costs of banking in Singapore can be high and account opening can be challenging.
However, if you can successfully navigate Singaporean account opening, you will be able to unlock a jurisdiction that offers a layer of financial privacy through international banking. Of course, privacy is just one of the many Singapore banking benefits you can access when opening offshore accounts in the country.
Like other offshore jurisdictions, the banking services offered in Singapore are supplemented by a wide range of Singaporean service providers. The non-banking services available in Singapore include offshore company formation, estate planning, investment management, and much more.
This combination of services and remote opening makes Singapore a suitable jurisdiction for anyone seeking related banking services. With this in mind, let’s look at who can open an offshore bank account in Singapore in the next section of the article.
Who Can Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore?
In order to determine who can open an offshore bank account in Singapore, each applicant needs to consider their client profile, perceived risk, their rationale for banking in Singapore, and their ability to meet the Singapore banking requirements imposed by each bank.
That said, both foreign non-resident individuals and entities are eligible to open offshore bank accounts in Singapore. This includes individuals and entities with existing ties to Singapore, planned future ties to Singapore, and no ties to Singapore whatsoever.
However, it’s important to point out that Singapore does impose unique account opening restrictions on foreign non-residents from a number of developed Western countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union countries, and elsewhere. In short, Singapore banks are unable to support the investment activities of these clients, which makes them unprofitable to service.
Of course, individuals with residency in sanctioned countries or countries that are generally considered blacklisted will not be eligible to bank in Singapore either. Likewise, citizens of these countries regardless of their residency may struggle to open accounts with Singaporean banks in general.
Similarly, foreign non-resident entities that are registered in or operate from sanctioned or blacklisted countries will not be able to open an offshore bank account in Singapore.
Not surprisingly, there are important nuances when opening offshore bank accounts in Singapore for each client type. With this in mind, let’s explore offshore bank accounts in Singapore for individuals, companies, and wealth management entities below, starting with Singapore bank accounts for individuals.
Singapore Offshore Bank Account for Individuals
Foreign non-resident individuals can open offshore bank accounts in Singapore. That said, there are only a handful of banks in Singapore that will accept foreign non-residents. And, as mentioned above, individuals from certain countries will face restrictions when trying to open here.
With this in mind, selecting the right Singaporean banks to apply to is an important first step toward offshore banking in the country. This is especially true if you want to open an offshore bank account in Singapore with a lower deposit amount.
Not surprisingly, the largest banks in Singapore are more challenging to access and are typically reserved for the least complicated client profiles. Of course, applicants also need to select Singaporean banks that offer the services they require and deposits they can afford.
In short, the best banks in Singapore are different for each applicant seeking Singaporean offshore accounts. But generally speaking, individuals seeking a jurisdiction with the following characteristics might want to consider opening in Singapore.
Why Open a Singapore Offshore Bank Account as an Individual?
- Highly reputable banking jurisdiction
- Some of the safest banks in the world
- Access to multi-currency accounts
- Possible to open an account 100% remotely
- Deposit insurance up to S$75,000
- Multi-language banking staff
- Stable banking, economic, and political environment
If you’re interested in opening a personal bank account in Singapore, you can click this link to access our free guide now. On the other hand, if you are looking for a Singapore bank account for companies, the following section will be relevant to you.
Singapore Offshore Bank Account for Companies
Foreign companies can open an offshore bank account in Singapore. However, companies generally have fewer Singaporean banks to choose from than individuals. In fact, opening a bank account in Singapore for foreign entities has become very difficult in recent years.
As a result, in order to open a bank account in Singapore, companies will need to demonstrate clear existing ties to Singapore before opening accounts. For example, “ties” can include commercial relationships with Singaporean suppliers, Singaporean customers, Singaporean contractors, Singapore-based employees, or another requirement to have direct access to Singapore dollars to support your business.
In other words, does your company have a clear rationale for opening a Singapore bank account, a requirement to send money to Singapore, or other justification for needing to bank in the country? That said, Singapore ties do not guarantee account opening. Instead, it is just one supportive factor in the account opening process.
Of course, the existing ties to Singapore do not need to be commercial. It is also possible for the company to have a local Singaporean shareholder, director, or other non-commercial connection to Singapore.
In short, most companies will find more accessible account opening options elsewhere. This is especially true for offshore entities, which will be asked to make very high account opening deposits in order to consider banking in Singapore.
All things considered, companies seeking a banking jurisdiction with the following characteristics might want to consider opening offshore accounts in Singapore.
Why Open a Singapore Offshore Bank Account for a Foreign Company?
- Existing ties to Singapore and a rationale for opening
- Strong economic presence in the region
- Seeking a highly respected offshore banking jurisdiction
- Able to make a qualifying deposit imposed by Singapore banks
- Desire access to some of the best banks in the world
If you’re interested in opening a business bank account in Singapore for an offshore entity, you can click this link to access our free guide now. On the other hand, if you are looking for a Singapore bank account for wealth management purposes, the following will be relevant to you.
Singapore Offshore Bank Account for Wealth Management
Individuals looking to access one of the strongest wealth management jurisdictions available today might want to consider opening an offshore account in Singapore.
That said, opening offshore bank accounts in Singapore for private banking and wealth management purposes does require higher deposits. In the case of Singapore, this usually means depositing up to USD $3,000,000.
However, it’s important to point out that Singapore banks are very particular about who they accept. In fact, certain foreign non-residents will not be able to open in Singapore unless they make a very high deposit, above the normal requirements. That said, Singaporean banks are among the best in the world. So, it’s no surprise that certain individuals still choose to meet these high deposit requirements in order to open here.
With this in mind, applicants seeking private banking and wealth management with the following characteristics might want to consider opening an offshore account in Singapore.
Why Open a Singapore Offshore Bank Account for Wealth Management?
- Singapore banks are among the best in the world
- Access to sophisticated banking and financial services
- Singapore has a strong rule of law and pragmatic bank regulation
- Depositors can access a wide range of investment & wealth management solutions
- Account opening is available to most nationalities and residencies
If you’re interested in opening a private bank account in Singapore, you can click this link to access our free guide now.
Alternatively, if you are interested in exploring the benefits of offshore banking in Singapore, continue reading to see why Singapore might be worth exploring further.
Benefits of Offshore Banking in Singapore?
The benefits of offshore banking in Singapore are similar to those available in other offshore banking jurisdictions. These benefits include remote opening, multi-currency accounts, online account management, and more.
However, Singapore does have a number of unique offshore banking benefits to offer as well. These benefits include access to one of the most stable and reputable banking jurisdictions available, access to sophisticated investment and banking products, and the fact that banks here are among the safest in the world.
Here is a closer look at the offshore banking benefits you can unlock in Singapore as a foreign non-resident.
Benefits of Offshore Banking in Singapore
- Banks here are some of the safest in the world
- Account opening is 100% remote
- Access to investment and banking products
- Stable and reputable banking jurisdiction
- Guaranteed deposit insurance up to S$75,000
- Accepting most nationalities & residences
- Stable economic and political landscape
Frequently Asked Singapore Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive about opening offshore accounts in Singapore. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Which Bank Is the Best for Offshore Accounts in Singapore?
The bank that is best for offshore accounts in Singapore depends on the applicant opening accounts, their desired deposit amount, and the specific services they want to access. That said, only a handful of banks in Singapore will consider opening accounts for foreign non-residents. Additionally, most Singapore banks have restrictions on the citizenship and residency that they are willing to accept. Therefore, in order to identify the best bank for offshore account opening in Singapore, each applicant needs to compare their profile to the available options.
Can I Open an Offshore Bank Account in Singapore?
Yes, you can open an offshore bank account in Singapore. However, in order to be approved for an account, you will need to meet the account opening requirements and have a suitable client profile. That said, not all banks in Singapore accept foreign non-residents. So, bank selection is critical to successfully opening an account as a foreign non-resident.
How Many Banks Are There in Singapore?
There are a total of 158 banks licensed to operate in Singapore, spanning a variety of different license categories. These license categories include local banks, foreign banks, offshore banks, full banks, wholesale banks, and merchant banks. The banks available to you will depend on your citizenship, residency, desired deposit, and the banking services you are after. However, if you are a foreign non-resident, it’s important to note that the bank selection will be limited to only a few banks.
Do You Want Help Opening Singapore Bank Accounts?
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