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How to increase chance to get a corporate bank account in Singapore

Singapore is an ideal place to open a corporate bank account for your business. The banking system in the Lion City has a really good reputation over the globe. This is partly supported by the fact that there are many reputable banks incorporated in Singapore, including some of the world’s largest banks.

Your company can receive many benefits when getting a bank account in Singapore. Particularly, customers tend to be more willing to make transactions with your company when it has an account in a trustworthy jurisdiction. Furthermore, banks in Singapore are capable of providing a wide range of services with top-notch quality, from supplying multi-currencies bank account to assets management and investment consultant.

A quick reminder: Due to the global pandemic Covid-19, many banks in Singapore have now offered online bank account opening services to business owners. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to save tons of your time and resources!

However, due to the high standard of Singapore’s banking system, it is not uncommon for one company to be rejected to open a corporate bank account. Thus, BBCIncorp decided to write this blog, giving you some tips about how to secure your chance to get a bank account in Singapore.

1. Application for a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Application for a corporate bank account may vary from bank to bank. Thus, you are advised to consult BBCIncorp to help you get an insight into what you need to prepare. Overall, a standard set of required documents to open a corporate bank account in Singapore comprise:

  • A fill-in application form with a request to open a bank account
  • The certification of Incorporation of your company and other necessary document relating to your company (business profile and articles of incorporation for example)
  • Passport(s) and residency proof of your company’s member(s), including shareholders, directors and signatories
  • Personal bank account statements or bank reference letters
  • Business trading proof

Depending on your certain case, a bank may require further papers if necessary.

2. Checklist to Secure Your Chance to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Singapore

Your chance of being approved will mainly depend on the company’s background and its activities. With that being said, you should follow the following checklist:

2.1. Avoiding prohibited nationalities

The nationalities of your company’s members will significantly affect the result of getting a bank account in Singapore. A bank often considers the nationalities of the directors, shareholders and even your company’s business partners. If one of the nationalities falls into the prohibited list of the bank, your approval chance is likely to decline quite a lot.

In such case, you (or your members) will have to deal with a heavy load of paperwork. The bank may need to further investigate your company’s member’s background information by requesting more supporting documents.

You may not expect to know the particular nationality blacklist of each bank in Singapore. However, the standard blacklist you can consider is the FATF list of high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions and the United Nations Sanctioned list. Basing on these, you should carefully review and adjust accordingly the list of your company’s members and business partners.

2.2. Avoiding prohibited business lines

Likewise, each bank may have a different set of avoided business lines. Normally, high-risk activities will be put in one bank’s list of prohibited business lines. Some typical examples are real estate, cryptocurrencies, precious stone and oil exploration. If your company’s business falls into these, your approval chance is also likely to decline a lot.

In order to know what banks suit your business lines most, please contact our experts!

2.3. Providing good trading business proof

The key to increasing your company’s chance to obtain a bank account in Singapore is to prove that it is a legitimate business. Apparently, banks in Singapore will not provide bank accounts to shady enterprises that do not have any clear businesses at all. Thus, a good provision of your company’s trading proof is really important.

You may ask, “How can I provide trading proof of the company when it has just been established?”. In this case, you can provide any trading documents that show your company has been in touch with a counterparty (who can be a supplier or a potential customer). These documents can come under the form of a contract or an agreement (draft is sometimes acceptable), an email thread or invitation letter that contains the information of your company.

You may wonder even further, “What if my company has not been in touch with any counterparty yet?”. Then the solution here is to supply a trading proof of another existing company of which you (or your company) are a shareholder. By using this method, our supporting team has successfully helped plenty of enterprises (even they are holding companies) to open their bank accounts in Singapore.

2.4. Other factors

There are some cases that banks in Singapore also accept applications from foreign or offshore companies. However, it becomes apparent that Singapore banks give more favor to applicants that are Singapore-incorporated companies. With that being said, your chance to get an account is higher when your company is located and run in the Lion City.

It appears to be the case that many banks in Singapore also favor applicants that promise to bring more value to the region or the country. Therefore, in order to increase the approval percentage, your company may consider to include one or some Asian or Singaporean business partners in its business trading list.

3. Main Points to Summarize

In order to increase your company’s chance to open a bank account in Singapore, it should:

  • Not have members whose nationalities fall into the global blacklists (FATF list for example)
  • Not engage in business lines that are prohibited in Singapore;
  • Be able to provide clear and well-prepared business trading proof;
  • Incorporate and run its business in Singapore with some Singapore business partners

With our experience and understanding, BBCIncorp can help you and your company achieve a corporate bank account in Singapore! Contact us now for free consulting!

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