How-To: Open a Bank Account in Singapore

How To

Opening a bank account here is no joke. It took me four tries… yup, FOUR TRIES to open one. To save you some trouble, let me share with you the step-by-step process.

First of all, the bank I chose was DBS. According to my colleagues, this is the best option because (1) they have the most number of ATMs and (2) they require the smallest maintaining balance. The type of account I opened is called DBS Multiplier Account as this is the most optimal choice for expats.

As for the requirements, what you’ll need are the following:

  1. Passport (actual)
  2. E-Pass / S-Pass / In Principal Approval (IPA) issued by the Ministry of Manpower
  3. For non-FATF member countries such as the Philippines, a proof of residential address in Singapore is necessary. This is a challenging requirement because typical documents with addresses will only be available a month after you move in. One way to go about it is to request a letter from your employer stating your current complete address. It should include the unit no., building name, street, and postal code.
  4. Mobile number – ensure that your number is not ~recycled. If it is, go to Singtel to request for a letter indicating that the number is tagged under your passport. It has to be printed on Singtel’s letterhead.
  5. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

The cueing and application process takes about two to three hours. Banks can get really busy especially on Saturdays so bring a book or a gadget you can kill time with. Also, when you talk to the staff, ask your burning questions, e.g. how much the maintaining balance is, what’s the maximum amount you can withdraw in a day, etc.

There you have it! I hope you don’t go through the hassle I did. To be extra careful, I suggest calling them up first or checking the website for the latest list of requirements. Good luck!

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