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As one of Asia’s leading financial services centres, Singapore is home to an international array of major financial institutions.

Its banking and financial infrastructure and services are backed by a strong regulatory framework, a pro-business environment, and sound economic fundamentals.

Types of Banks

The three local banks in Singapore are also Southeast Asia’s largest:

Other leading consumer banks (foreign) in Singapore include:

Apart from the regular personal banking services, these banks also offer Singapore-specific services such as the Supplementary Retirement Scheme and CPF Investment Scheme accounts.  These five banks also operate on a shared ATM system where customers of one bank may utilise an ATM of any of the other four banks without being charged additional transaction fees.

While many other banks have branches in Singapore, they may not have the licence to offer retail operations here. The Monetary Authority of Singapore lists the different kinds of banks and bank directories.

Opening an Account

Only citizens, permanent residents and those holding employment passes are able to open a bank account in Singapore. Usually, a completed application form, passport, employment pass and proof of mailing address are required to open an account.  It’s advisable to call the bank beforehand to be sure.

Each bank has different requirements for opening an account, with differing minimum balances and service charges. For savings or current accounts, you will usually receive a cheque book, an ATM card and a PIN for online or phone banking. 

Most banks offer the following services:

  • Savings/current accounts
  • Fixed deposits
  • Mutual funds or trusts
  • NETS (cash withdrawal) cards that allow for electronic payment for goods and services
  • Credit card facilities
  • Crediting foreign checks