Banks and Financial Institutions in Singapore




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 its development.

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 a banking account in Singapore. Please see section "Your Bank account" on advise on what to ask before you open an account with any of the banks in Singapore.

Commercial banks can operate as:

wholesale banks

offshore banks



This website has teamed up Citibank International Personal Bank Singapore. Citibank offers Global Online Account to provide expatriates relocating to Singapore with a complete banking service by multi-lingual Relationship Managers designed with the financial needs of expatriates and global executives in mind. For further information view our banking resources.





You should familiarize with the below bank jargon of Singapore:



Full Banks

Currently 27 full banks are operating in Singapore, of which 6 are locally incorporated and one is a locally incorporated subsidiary under a foreign bank. 23 banks are branches of foreign-incorporated banks. Seven of the foreign banks operating in Singapore have been awarded Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) privileges which are:

operate a total of 25 locations

share ATMs among themselves

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

may provide debit services through an EFTPOS network

offer Supplementary Retirement Scheme and CPF Investment Scheme accounts

accept fixed deposits

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.

Foreign Full Banks

Not all of the banks actually offer full bank services and there is a significant variation in the type and number of facilities provided. Depending on their cooperation agreements with local banks, they are limited in the number of ATM sites they may offer. Inquire about their arrangements when opening an account.




banks singapore

For the large number of Citibank ATM locations see their website here
or visit their branches listed below.



Info: Citibank Branches
Capital Square Branch ┬╗ show map
23 Church Street
#07-01 Capital Square
Singapore 049481
Banking hours:
Monday - Friday:

9.30am - 6.00pm
9.30am - 5.00pm (Cash Teller Service)

Marina Bay Sands ┬╗show map
2 Bayfront Avenue #01-16
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 018972

Banking hours:
Monday - Sunday:
11.00am - 8.00pm
Citibank 24-Hour Account Opening Hotline
Tel: +65 6224 5757


Wholesale Banks

Wholesale 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



Merchant Banks


The typical activities of merchant banks in Singapore include

corporate finance
underwriting of share and bond issues
mergers and acquisitions
portfolio investment management
management consultancy
other fee-based activities

Most merchant banks are able to compete with other commercial banks in the Asian Dollar Market. While merchant banks may not accept deposits or borrow from the public they may accept deposits or borrow from banks, finance companies, shareholders and companies controlled by their shareholders.

Finance Companies

Finance companies focus on providing small-scale financing, including instalment credit for motor vehicles and consumer durables, and mortgage loans for housing. They are not permitted to grant unsecured credit facilities exceeding SGD 5,000. Generally they do not deal in any foreign currency.


Financial Advisers

The Monetary Authority of Singapore sounds the alert on financial advisors offering financial services without having a proper license. Currently, these services include advising others on investment products, issuance of research reports covering investment products, marketing of any collective investment schemes, as well as arranging life policies for others.

The Investor Alert below features advise on how to spot an investment scam and an "investor alert list" of financial services firms that do not have the proper license but operate from Singapore through virtual offices.


Offshore Banks


Offshore banks can engage in the same activities as full and wholesale banks for businesses transacted through their Asian Currency Units (ACUs). The ACU is an accounting unit, which the banks use to book all their foreign currency transactions conducted in the Asian Dollar Market (ADM). The banks' Singapore dollar transactions are separately booked in the Domestic Banking Unit (DBU).


Post Office Saving Bank (POSB)

Although the POSB has been taken over by DBS Bank it will continue to maintain a separate branch network using the POSB brand. With its many branches POSB is a cost saving alternative with the additional advantage of tax-free interest on deposits up to S$ 100,000. However, as the minimum balance required to avoid charges is lower than other banks, it is popular and there are often long queues at their counters.

Global Banking Singapore | How to open a Singapore bank account | Singapore Foreign Full Banks |Singapore Offshore Banks| Banking and Taxation |Financial Services Singapore| Singapore Credit Cards | Merchant Banks Singapore| Writing a cheque in Singapore | Singapore Remittance Centers | Western Union Singapore | Citibank Singapore | Bank Jargon Singapore |Wholesale Banks Singapore| Income Tax Singapore | Central Provident Fund Singapore| Investor's Guide to Singapore| Singapore |