Open a Bank Account in Singapore 🇸🇬 [Country Guide]

Compared to many other offshore bank account opening options, Singapore is one of the most stable and desirable jurisdictions in the world. 

So, it’s no surprise that Singapore has become a popular jurisdiction for individuals seeking an offshore bank account for both their personal and business needs.

That said, Singapore has strict compliance rules, ever-changing banking laws, and intense reporting requirements. Account opening can be extremely difficult for non-residents, so  other jurisdictions may be more suitable for many client types. 

To learn more about banking in Singapore, use the information below or select the type of account you’re interested in to get started.

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Singapore Bank Account Opening

In this free country guide, we’re going to help you navigate how to open a bank account in Singapore. This will include personal banking and business banking for foreigners, non-residents, and international entities.

Depending on your client profile and desired deposit level, it is even possible to open an offshore bank account 100% remotely.

Feel free to use the table of contents to find the most relevant information for your Singapore banking needs.

Table of Contents

How to Open a Bank Account in Singapore

Before taking a look at the step-by-step process to open a bank account in Singapore, it’s important to understand the key considerations and clients that Singapore banks accept.

With this in mind, here’s a quick snapshot of key bank account opening considerations and the prospective clients that can consider opening here.

Of course, not all Singapore banks accept all client types. In fact, in most cases, the largest banks in Singapore only accept local residents and local businesses. 

That said, there are smaller Singapore banks that actively accept foreign non-resident clients. This is why we prepared a dedicated list of banks in Singapore to help you navigate your options.

If you correctly choose a bank that accepts foreign non-residents, remote opening is usually possible. This is true for most nationalities, residencies, and countries of registration. 

That said, very few Singapore banks will accept foreign or offshore companies and structures. But, the banks that do typically accept companies from a wide range of jurisdictions. Of course, opening an account in Singapore will be easier for a company that can show clear economic ties to the country.

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Who Can Open Offshore Bank Accounts in Singapore?

There are a number of factors that go into determining who can open an offshore bank account in Singapore. These factors range from the countries the client is connected to, transaction activity, source of income and wealth, risk profile, and much more. 

We discuss all of these factors and more in GlobalBanks IQ for our premium members. 

In short, GlobalBanks IQ helps members navigate their unique client profile, understand their risk factors, and determine how to clearly and accurately communicate with banks. 

In doing so, our members avoid accidentally red-flagging themselves by saying things that could be misconstrued or misinterpreted by bankers and compliance teams.

If you’re interested in learning more about GlobalBanks IQ and how you can start opening bank accounts in Singapore today when you join, click here or use the link below to see everything you unlock with immediate access.

Personal Bank Accounts in Singapore

Personal bank accounts in Singapore can be opened by foreign non-residents, foreign temporary residents, foreign permanent residents, and of course Singapore residents. 

In other words, regardless of your residency status, it is possible to open a personal bank account in Singapore if you choose the right bank and navigate the account opening process properly.

That said, if you are a US citizen, account opening in Singapore can be extremely challenging. This is mainly due to the fact some banks in Singapore do not comply with FATCA reporting requirements.

There are some banks in Singapore that do accept US citizens. However, these banks require higher deposit amounts, have restrictions on investments and services, and have strict onboarding requirements. 

Needless to say, opening a bank account in Singapore can be challenging for any non-resident. However, it can be a good choice for anyone seeking offshore banking with exposure to SGD, the currency of Singapore.

As mentioned, restrictions do apply to certain nationalities, residencies, and certain risk profiles. So, understanding your client profile and how banks perceive you is important before approaching bankers and applying for accounts.

You can access our free guide on opening a personal bank account in Singapore by clicking here, which gives you the step-by-step process to start opening accounts and how to choose a bank that is right for you.

Business Bank Accounts in Singapore

Business bank accounts in Singapore are available to foreign entities, companies with non-regulated activities, some Crypto business clients, and offshore companies. 

Of course, restrictions apply to certain countries of registration, operation, and business activities. So, knowing which banks will realistically accept your company is important – especially before approaching bankers and submitting applications.

Finding a bank that is willing to accept your foreign or offshore company is not any easy task. In fact, one of the biggest challenges is finding a banker that will even pick up the phone, respond to an email, or give you clear information on account opening requirements, fees, and restrictions. 

You can access our free guide on opening a business bank account in Singapore by clicking here, which includes important considerations for both foreign and offshore entities.

Risks of Banking in Singapore

Yes, there are risks to banking in Singapore. That said, this is true in any country that you might be considering opening accounts in. Of course, there are Singapore-specific risks that all prospective account openers should consider before opening accounts. These risks may impact how to send money to Singapore and which banks you decide to open accounts with.

With this in mind, our team has covered the most common Singapore banking risks, which you can access here.

Singapore Banking Resources

To help you successfully open Singapore bank accounts, our team of banking experts has prepared step-by-step account opening instructions for the best non-resident banking options in the country. This includes actionable banking insights, detailed bank profiles, bank specific client preferences, and information that you can’t find anywhere else.

Here is a look at all of the banking resources that you can access right now to help you navigate your Singapore banking options:

These resources are delivered exclusively to our premium members through GlobalBanks IQ, which you can unlock immediately.

MEMBER ACCESS

GlobalBanks IQ provides immediate access to everything you need to open Singapore Bank Accounts for you or your business!

  • Choose banks in minutes with our international banking database
  • Open accounts with detailed step-by-step instructions
  • Handle banker questions easily with detailed conversation scripts
  • Meet bank requirements (e.g. local address) with proven solutions
  • Unlock exclusive offers from the best banks in our member reports
  • Receive lists of banks that accept high-risk & offshore businesses
  • Plus much more!

Looking for a more personalized account opening experience? 
Get personalized one-on-one support from our team of experts to navigate your personal, business, & private banking needs around the world. Click here to compare your options.

Frequently Asked Singapore Banking Questions

Below a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking to open a bank account in Singapore. If you have additional questions that you’d like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Singapore?

Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Singapore. In fact, it is possible for most foreigners to open bank accounts in Singapore 100% remotely. That said, bank selection is crucial to successfully opening accounts here. This is especially true for non-residents, since not all banks in Singapore accept foreign non-resident applicants.

Can I Open a Singapore Bank Account Online?

Yes, you can open a Singapore bank account online. However, not all banks in Singapore offer remote account opening. Of the banks that do, not all banks accept foreign non-residents. Note also that opening a Singapore bank account online often requires a higher deposit level and additional documentation. It’s important to confirm these requirements with the bank before applying.

Is It Difficult to Open a Bank Account in Singapore?

Yes, it is difficult to open a bank account in Singapore as a foreign non-resident. In fact, banks in Singapore are known for strict account opening procedures and challenging requirements. However, with the right information, contacts, and preparation, it is possible to open a bank account in Singapore.

Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account in Singapore OCBC?

Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in Singapore with OCBC. In fact, most foreigners can open a bank account at OCBC remotely. However, remote account opening does require a higher initial deposit amount compared to opening an account in person. Additionally, like all Singapore banks, OCBC does have restrictions on the specific client profiles that they can serve. So, restrictions will apply in terms of residency.

Free Singapore Banking Resources

Below you’ll find our archive of free Singapore banking resources to assist with account opening. 

This includes detailed articles to help you open bank accounts explaining how to navigate challenges for specific client types and more.

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