Singapore Banks and Services
With its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure, Singapore is a center for trade and financial services for the Asian region. Financial services are a key source of growth since the 1970s and the government constantly provides incentives for the development of Singapore banks and services. Commercial banks in Singapore are licensed under and governed by the Banking Act and may undertake universal banking. The license for commercial banking, permits deposit taking, the provision of cheque services and lending and any other business which is regulated or authorised by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), such as financial advisory services, insurance broking and capital market services. There are several benefits for non-residents, foreigners and expatriates to Open Bank Account in Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) categorized Commercial Banks into these 3 categories:
Foreign full banks with Qualifying Full Bank (“QFB”) privileges may operate a total of 25 locations. They may also:
- Full Banks
- Wholesale Banks
- Offshore Banks
Full BanksFull banks may provide the whole range of banking business permitted under the Banking Act. The following local banks offer a full banking service including current and deposit accounts, ATM's, credit and debit cards, loans, mortgages etc. These banks have the most extensive branch network. DBS owns POSB and therefore customers may use either bank's ATM's. OCBC and UOB operate a shared ATM system and therefore clients of both banks may use either bank's ATM machines.
- Share ATMs among themselves, and relocate their sub-branches freely.
- Negotiate with the local banks on a commercial basis to let their credit card holders obtain cash advances through the local bank's ATM networks.
- Provide debit services through an EFTPOS network,
- Offer Supplementary Retirement Scheme and CPF Investment Scheme accounts, and
- Accept fixed deposits
|Standard Chartered Bank|
|Bank of China|
Wholesale BanksWholesale banks may engage in the same range of banking business as full banks, except that they operate as branches of foreign banks and may not carry out Singapore Dollar retail activities. They are not permitted to offer services such as the below without prior approval of MAS:
- Operate savings accounts denominated in Singapore dollars
- Operate savings accounts denominated in foreign currency, whether in respect of its Domestic Banking Unit, or Asian Currency Unit
- Accept fixed deposits but in respect of Singapore dollar fixed deposits, the initial deposit shall not be less than S$250,000
- May operate current accounts, but in respect of current accounts denominated in Singapore dollars where the customer is a natural person and a resident of Singapore, the current account shall not be interest-bearing