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Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

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Juan Lopez
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Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by Juan Lopez » Wed, 05 Aug 2020 5:52 pm

Hi,
I am in the process of arranging a relocation to Singapore and have currently some interviews with potential employers. Whenever I am there I would like to also use the time on the ground to check out housing options and other stuff that I would need to arrange. In this context, I thought it would be practical to have a bank account in Singapore (for deposit payments etc.). Now I heard that Singaporean banks do not open accounts for EU citizens as the EU demands too much bureaucratic stuff around this.
Can someone of you confirm this? Or does somebody know a certain bank, that still offers accounts for EU citizens?
Would appreciate your help on this!

bgd
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by bgd » Wed, 05 Aug 2020 11:37 pm

I didn't have any trouble with Citibank when I arrived. Don't know whether things have changed but i haven't heard of any issues with EU citizens.

If you are from the US you are likely to have more challenges, FATCA, etc.

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by TropicalExpat » Thu, 06 Aug 2020 7:55 am

If you open an account with a major foreign bank (Citi, HSBC etc) you will have no issues opening an account.
The question is whether they will open the account prior to you actually moving. This I can't answer.

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 06 Aug 2020 8:39 am

Transferwise can open banks accounts for you in Singapore (it's a DBS "dba" style account but perfectly useable) and you can open these remotely. Very useful for quick low cost fund transfers as well.
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by Juan Lopez » Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:43 pm

Thanks for the answers, very useful. Does anyone know how it is with local Singaporean banks? Would that also be possible? Transferwise I use already for money transfer but I rather would like to go with a "real" bank.

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jwoods1864
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by jwoods1864 » Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:40 am

I'm pretty sure you can open one with your passport, relevant work visa and proof of residence.
Whether u can do it before you actually get here is another matter.


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PNGMK
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:43 am

Juan Lopez wrote:
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:43 pm
Thanks for the answers, very useful. Does anyone know how it is with local Singaporean banks? Would that also be possible? Transferwise I use already for money transfer but I rather would like to go with a "real" bank.
You can't do it remotely with a singapore bank AFAIK. I don't know why you don't think TF aren't a real bank. I know people who transmit millions of dollars a day via TF and they are registered as a UK fin inst.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by bgd » Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:26 pm

I had to show my EP and proof of earnings. I'm sure that will be the minimum for the local banks.

@PNGMK Any limits on TF balances at end of day? Revolut (similar to TF) has just instigate a SGD5k maximum.

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by PNGMK » Sat, 08 Aug 2020 10:38 am

bgd wrote:
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:26 pm
I had to show my EP and proof of earnings. I'm sure that will be the minimum for the local banks.

@PNGMK Any limits on TF balances at end of day? Revolut (similar to TF) has just instigate a SGD5k maximum.
There were - not sure if it has been adjusted. TF were working with MAS on it. I have read bad reviews about Revolut btw.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by bgd » Sat, 08 Aug 2020 1:13 pm

For what I use it for (bus card and credit card) Revolut has been pretty good. But I do hear that covid has impacted them and they have laid off a lot of staff. Monza, similar space, also is struggling. On the other hand, Starling has been thriving. Hadn't actually heard of Starling until now.

Anyway I've just signed up to TF.

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by Juan Lopez » Sat, 08 Aug 2020 7:06 pm

Guys, thanks so far. For the time being I will not have proof of earnings or anything like that. I will just be a EU citizen who is visiting SIngapore as a tourist. Preferrably I would like to open the account with a local bank. Not so keen on dealing with all these internet banks. I also use Revolut here and some times it is quite a pain to deal with them. So still wondering if local banks would accept me.

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by PNGMK » Sun, 09 Aug 2020 5:10 pm

Juan Lopez wrote:
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 7:06 pm
Guys, thanks so far. For the time being I will not have proof of earnings or anything like that. I will just be a EU citizen who is visiting SIngapore as a tourist. Preferrably I would like to open the account with a local bank. Not so keen on dealing with all these internet banks. I also use Revolut here and some times it is quite a pain to deal with them. So still wondering if local banks would accept me.
You're obviously extra stupid if you think the local banks are going to open a money laundering account for you. They stopped opening accounts for tourists in the 90s.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

Juan Lopez
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by Juan Lopez » Mon, 10 Aug 2020 4:11 pm

Hmm... you obviously know a lot about this so explain to me why it is money laundering when I open up an account myself and for myself with my own ID and transfer my own money to it.

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PNGMK
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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 10 Aug 2020 4:36 pm

You don't need a bank account as a tourist. So why do you need one? Hiding money from the tax man or a divorce or acting as a money mule? After 1MDB the banks stopped all that shit.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Opening a bank account in Singapore as a EU citizen

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 10 Aug 2020 4:46 pm

Another perks that used to be available here but no longer exists, for various reasons, is getting a Singapore Drivers License while on an SVP. I did, but that was in 1982, I think they also quit that in the 1990s as well. Now you have to have long term residency (LTVP/DP or better). The crackdown on bank accounts for SVP holders was also in the 1990's, most because of the US pogrom on illegal money laundering and FATCA (US Treasury). All of my current bank accounts and CC were gotten while still living here on an SVP the first 11 years I was here. Cannot do it any more thanks to arseholes abusing the system and leaving huge debts and or court cases while on tourist visas. Now it getting even harder even with residency.

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