Opening a bank account in Singapore from Australia

Moving to Singapore? Here’s how to open a bank account to manage your finances.

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Relocating to another country is a big undertaking and one of the most important things you'll need to organise is opening a local bank account. If you're moving to Singapore, there are a few different ways to open a bank account there.

We'll look at the different ways you can open an account in Singapore, how to open an account with the major banks (DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank and HSBC) and how to find the right option for your needs.

What are my options for opening an account?

1. Singapore bank account

You'll need an employment or study pass to open an account. Some banks will also require proof of your Singapore address.

3. Multi-currency account

A multi-currency account allows you to hold funds in multiple foreign currencies, including SGD.

1. Setting up a bank account if you have a Singaporean address

If you're already set up with an address in Singapore, you can open a bank account by providing the following:

  • Your passport
  • Your employment pass or study pass (required to work or study in Singapore)

Depending on the bank you choose, you may also be asked to provide the following information:

  • Proof of address, such as a recent utility bill
  • A letter from your previous bank
  • An introduction from another of the bank's customers

You can apply online or by visiting your nearest branch.


2. Setting up an international bank account

If you don't have a Singapore address, the next option you might want to consider is opening an international bank account. These accounts are typically offered by major global banks that operate in multiple countries around the world. However, you'll generally need to satisfy high-level income requirements and/or make a large deposit to open an account.

Let's take a look at four major banks that operate in Singapore and whether they offer international bank accounts.

DBS Bank logo

DBS Bank

DBS Bank (Development Bank of Singapore) is the largest bank in Singapore, and it offers an Expat Program to help you find your financial feet. You can apply to join the program online by providing the following information:

  • Your contact details and residential address
  • Details of your gender, occupation, marital status and race
  • Your passport
  • Your employment pass

OCBC Bank logo

OCBC Bank

The Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation is Singapore's second-largest bank. Unfortunately, there's no information available online about whether OCBC offers any international bank accounts or services for expats. As a result, you'll most likely need to visit an OCBC Bank branch in person to open an account.

UOB logo

United Overseas Bank

It's not possible to open an account with United Overseas Bank from Australia. Instead, you'll need to visit a Singapore branch in person to verify your identity and provide any supporting documents.

HSBC's logo

HSBC

HSBC allows you to open a local bank account before you actually arrive in Singapore. You'll need to apply online one to two months before your scheduled arrival date.

You'll need to provide the following:

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Your latest tax bill
  • Your employment pass or long-term visit pass

An HSBC International Account Opening Specialist will guide you through the process, while you'll need to take the completed form and any supporting documentation into an HSBC branch for approval.


3. Multi-currency accounts

Another option worth considering is a multi-currency account. Also known as a foreign currency account, this allows you to hold funds and send and receive payments in multiple currencies, including SGD.

You can open a multi-currency account online with major Australian and international banks as well as with international money transfer services. For example, both the Citi Global Currency Account and the HSBC Everyday Global Account support SGD, so it's worth shopping around for an account that meets your needs.

Name Product Card access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly account fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Special offer: $100 cash bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases (T&C's apply).
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.

Citi Global Currency Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
$0
Earn up to 0.75% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to transfer your money to your new Singapore bank account

When you want to make a deposit into your Singapore bank account, it's convenient and easy to do so straight from your Australian bank account. However, the poor exchange rates banks offer mean it's not a cost-effective option.

Instead, you can use a specialist money transfer service to send money to Singapore and lock in a much better exchange rate. Check out how your transaction could look using the table below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.997 SGD
9,970
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 50.00 1.001 SGD
9,960
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.996 SGD
9,960
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.997 SGD
9,970
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.997 SGD
9,970
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.997 SGD
9,967
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.989 SGD
9,886
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.999 SGD
9,943
Exclusive: New customers sending over AUD 500 from Australia use code FINDER50 to get AUD 50 off. Pay zero fees on your first transaction. Valid till 31 July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.997 SGD
9,924
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.

Logo for XE International Money Transfers
XE International Money Transfers

XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.

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