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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.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Card access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$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
Earn up to 0.5% 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 1 1 day AUD 50.00 0.986 SGD
9,811
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 0.981 SGD
9,811
Get fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.982 SGD
9,821
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send 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 0.982 SGD
9,821
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.982 SGD
9,821
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.982 SGD
9,821
Finder exclusive: Get a $100 EFTPOS voucher when you transfer AUD$1,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.976 SGD
9,759
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.974 SGD
9,738
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.985 SGD
9,801
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
Quick and simple international money transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.986 SGD
9,816
Make online transfers at the mid-market rate with transparent fees in 45+ 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.

More guides on Finder

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.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

Finder exclusive: Get a $100 EFTPOS voucher when you transfer AUD$1,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

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

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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