Best Banks In Singapore For Expats – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
Have you decided to make Singapore your new location? If that sounds like a YES, you’re on the right platform. One of the first things you’ll want to consider is getting to know the country. Did you check our post or guide on living in Singapore for expat? If you’re not, take time to go through it before reading.
So, as you would love to settle in Singapore, many factors can hinder your relocation. Some of which include; visa applications, employment, language barrier, getting around, and making friends. Regardless of these factors, you’ll need to prepare ahead and, if possible, seek travel advice.
However, as a new expat in Singapore, you’ve probably got a long to-do list which might not include figuring out the best banks in the country. Moreover, this is one of the things you’d need after relocating to a new nation. Since you won’t be using your local currency, opening a bank account is crucial for you.
Now, are you curious about knowing the best banks in Singapore for expats? Well, worry less, as we’ve got you covered in this article. Singapore is known as the top financial hub in Asia. Given its status as a globally competitive market, it’s no surprise that many emigrants have decided to relocate to Singapore.
Moreover, we have compiled this article to meet your requirements. You don’t need to keep surfing the internet to know the best banks in Singapore. This is due to the fact that you have everything in this ultimate guide. Would you love to know what we’ve unleashed for you? Read further to get the full details.
Travel Tips to Expatriate in Singapore
Expatriation is often a significant source of stress as it implies starting from scratch in all ramifications or fields. Among others, Singapore expatriates need to find a job, choose new accommodation, sign up for health insurance, and, most importantly, think about opening a bank account.
Now, how do you address those issues as a future expatriate? Well, starting with a simple travel guide could see you through the process. We aim to bring all expat the latest tips for relocation and create a favorable route or guide to travel. Without further ado, below are the tips to expatriate in Singapore.
Capitalize On a Good Network
There are more reasons to choose Singapore in today’s world. But if you’re just traveling to the country for the first time, one of the tips you should be wary of is to capitalize on a good network. However, if you have a relative or colleague with professional contacts in Singapore, you should get in touch.
The labor demand in the country is in high demand, and therefore job opportunities are numerous for expatriates. With that being said, you need to have a professional that understands the process to avoid being scammed. As the professional world in the country emphasized networks, you should have one.
Explore the Best Recruitment Agencies
If you don’t know anyone in Singapore, this is when you’ll need to explore the best recruitment agencies in the country. They may put you in contact with the right people, but you should have researched the best agencies. In the same way, you can get assistance from the Human Resources department of the various Chambers of Commerce in the country.
Avoid Focusing on Expatriates Areas
Expat areas in Singapore are usually less affordable than others. In fact, real estate agents tend to show expats the apartments located in those districts. However, you should rather take your time to visit other flats in cheaper districts before making your decisions. Basically, you can find something affordable with respect to your income level, as the range of prices is large from the luxurious condos.
Seek Advice from Other Expatriates
In addition, to enjoy your relocation process, getting advice from other expatriates is essential. Moreover, this could even be an opportunity to meet fellow expat as your future roommates if you’re looking to have a shared apartment. Also, by seeking advice from other expatriate, you’ll have a lot of apartments to choose from.
Best Places to Live in Singapore
Singapore is considered to be a small country where neighborhoods bleed into one another easily. Even if you’re going to visit a friend in the country, it will take approximately 45 minutes long to get to your destination. With strong transportation connecting the routes together, Singapore is the right place.
While the country has its pros and cons, it is important to think about what you want before planning your trip. We have listed the top places for expats to live, chosen for personality, location, amenities, budgets, and many others. Without further ado, below are the best places for expat to live in Singapore.
Tiong Bahru (Singapore)
Tiong Bahru is a heritage housing estate that’s rich with retro charm. The city has a well-designed street in an interlocking horseshoe shape, enclosing the community center. This expat community is located about 15 minutes outside of the city center. Moreover, Tiong Bahru is a nice escape from the downtown skyscrapers and has a much quieter feel.
Holland Village (Singapore)
The Holland village is one of the most popular areas for expat to reside. It’s home to lots of families, and it has a very eclectic feel with a variety of bars, shops local and western restaurants. In addition, Holland village puts expats in proximity to some very good schools options, including high quality and landed houses.
Tanjong Pagar (Singapore)
Tanjong pagar is another suitable destination for expats that want to relocate to Singapore. This area boasts many classically beautiful shop house storefronts that maintain Singapore’s Malay heritage and give the city its sense of picturesque charm. Located just outside the central business district, the neighborhood is home to bankers and different advertising agencies.
Sentosa is another place for expats to reside in today’s world. For those who have a generous relocation package, this expat area can be an attractive high-end option. Aside from this fact, Sentosa boasts homes right on the water, and they are both in beautiful condos and even in some landed houses.
Ultimate Guide to the Best Banks in Singapore
To understand the banks in Singapore, you might have been residing in the country for a long, right? Of course, if that’s the case, let’s take you through the ultimate guide to the best banks for expat in the country as of 2021. While some of the famous banks include DBS, OCBS, read further to know more.
The bank services in Singapore are famous, and most of the popular ones include; DBS (Development Bank of Singapore Limited), OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited), UOB (United Overseas Bank Limited), and many more. At the same time, Singapore is also home to offshore and multinational banks like Standard Chartered and HSBC.
Furthermore, if you’re choosing a bank, you need to consider your banking needs. As a general rule of thumb, most expats in this country will require the banking services as listed below.
Singapore’s Savings Account
No matter your income or level of employment in the country, you’ll need a basic bank account for crediting your salary and depositing money. Not only that, but you’ll also be earning interest on the money in your account. Additionally, your interest rates differ across banks, so be sure to choose one that offers you the best credit or debit rate as you wish.
Automated Teller Machine
While mobile wallets and credit cards are widely used in Singapore, you’ll still want to ensure that you carry enough cash with you. For example, certain food places in Singapore operate solely on a cash-based system. This means you’ll have to go with your card to transact in any other food palace or restaurant.
Multi-Currency Account in Singapore
Some banks in Singapore allow you to store money in multiple currencies. This process is highly beneficial for expats, especially if you frequently travel since you can hold one or more foreign currencies within the same account. Also, when you wish to remit money to your loved ones back at home, a multi-currency account is essential. Again, the multi-currency account is a great way to avoid some international transaction fees that might be imposed on normal bank accounts.
Credit Card in Singapore
The credit card in Singapore is basically a must-have, given its status as one of the most universally accepted modes of payment. Whether you decide to buy an electronic gadget or groceries from local supermarkets, credit cards will always come in handy for any transaction.
DBS Expat Programme in Singapore
As an expat, you might want to consider opening a DBS expat program. This account allows expat to set various currency wallets and exchange money whenever rates are favorable. You can also shop, pay for groceries, and many others with this DBS expat program. Some of the requirements for opening this account include; your passport, employment pass, proof of residential address, and approved letter.
UOB Bank Account
Another expat-friendly bank in Singapore is known as the United Overseas Bank Limited. Aside from other perks, this kind of bank account provides up to a 10 percent rebate when you spend using your debit or credit card. Also, it offers a competitive exchange rate for overseas expenditure. To apply for this kind of bank account, you’ll need to head down to the bank in person. And some of the documents involved include; your passport, proof of residence address, employment pass, and many others.
Citibank Global Banking Programme
Citibank’s Global Banking Programme helps foreigners manage their international accounts more easily. Aside from this fact, it offers fringe perks such as international relocation services and provides other services to help you better manage your finances. More so, if you have a Citibank account in your home country, you can use the Citibank Global Transfer service, as it allows you to remit money with no fees. If you want to open this kind of bank account, you’ll need to submit your form with personal particulars.
Standard Chartered Expat Banking
Standard chartered expat banking is another bank that’s suitable for expat. In fact, you can open this bank account before you arrive in the country and remit money to an overseas StanChart account for free. This bank takes pride in prioritizing its customers. With dedicated and personalized support from its relationship Managers in your origin and destination countries, you can enjoy premium services.
HSPC Expat Banking
This type of bank is similar to Citibank and Standard Chartered bank. It offers an international banking solution for expats that plan to relocate to Singapore. On the flip side, HSPC bank allows customers to open a bank account before arriving in Singapore by simply getting in touch with the bank before arrival. However, the bank is unique, and it offers free remittance to nearly 230 countries, whether or not the recipient is an HSBC account holder.
Wise (formerly Transferwise)
Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, is a solution to traditional banking for expats in Singapore. Aside from this fact, it is a London-based leading fintech company established in 2011. The mission of this financial institution is to make international money transfers fast, cheap, convenient, and reliable. With multiple currency support and its excellent services, they have helped more than 10 million individuals and businesses to manage their money on a global scale.
With a Wise account, expat can convert and hold up to 56 currencies. Additionally, the best thing to operate this account is that you can transfer your money to more than 70 countries with a low and transparent fee. However, the fees are on average seven times lower than high-street banks and Paypal.
Requirements to open a Bank Account in Singapore
In most cases, the first thing you need when you’re opening a bank account in Singapore is to meet the qualification criteria to stay in Singapore for a long period of time. To this end, it would be better to check whether your documents are complete and make sure you have proof of residence before planning.
Moreover, applicants that the Singapore government blacklists cannot open bank accounts. Therefore, it is clear-cut that the requirements are bare essentials. Now that you’re eligible for a bank account understanding the key documents is quite essential. Below are the key requirements.
- A valid passport that’d certify your identity in the country
- Valid employment to certify that you work or study right in Singapore. This document could be your study visa or employment visa
- A valid proof of residential address is suitable to confirm your place of residence when you’re in Singapore. These documents are copies of a recent bank statement or utility bill, or a letter verifying your current employment
Top 5 Reasons to Open a Bank Account in Singapore
As one of the financial hubs of Asia, Singapore is a popular destination for expat. It’s not just a tourist center, but you’ll definitely enjoy your stay in this country. While you’re enjoying your stay, it’s also crucial to open a bank account. Now, what are the reasons for opening this account? Well, check it out below.
1. Highly Advanced Financial Hub
There are tons of financial platforms in Singapore, which could trigger you to open a bank account. Also, Singapore’s banks and financial institutions employ cutting-edge technology. While there are equally safe platforms, you should open a Singapore bank account for local and overseas transactions.
2. Unique Investment Opportunities for Expat
Singapore’s unique position, as a bridge between East and West, offers unique investment opportunities that expat will not find in their country. This is because; you can find numerous wealth management services, brokerage houses, funds, and much more to manage your money while living in the country.
On the flip side, you can be positioned to take advantage of markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, and others. Therefore, expats would definitely enjoy the unique investment opportunity in the country for just opening a bank account in the country.
3. Forex Isn’t a Major Problem
Another reason to open a bank account in Singapore is that foreign exchange isn’t a major problem. Moreover, banks may not give you the best exchange rates when you transfer money to and from home, and some banks will require you to open a mess of accounts to handle the different country transactions. But in Singapore, you can open a savings account in your choice of 10 different currencies.
4. Highly-Skilled Wealth Management Boards
The wealth management teams in Singapore are quite educated and highly skilled. With this in mind, you should be expecting the best banking services in the country. On the flip side, you can take advantage of the specialized wealth management services offered by the banks if you have substantial wealth in the bank and investment assets. With this, you can get a holistic view of your wealth.
5. High Degree of Safety
The high degree of safety is another reason to open a bank account. Most of the banks are standard, and they have a reliable staff. With that being said, you should know that your money is safe. And this makes it ideal for storing your legally acquired assets in a safe hand. Also, note that the banking sector is highly regulated to prevent fraud and other malpractices in the country.
6. Regulated Exchange Rates
The standard regulated bank in Singapore has a convenient foreign exchange rate. While some banks in other countries require customers to have multiple accounts to handle different currencies or offer low exchange rates, Singapore banks are more customer-oriented, and they offer the best foreign exchange rate to customers. More so, the banks can even give you more details about the various lucrative emerging markets.
7. Excellent Banking Secrecy
Secrecy maintained by the Singapore banks is another reason to consider opening the account. This is due to the fact that Singapore has developed its banking secrecy laws over the past decade, and it now allows freer exchanges of tax information between participating nations. However, you should know that a stated law governs the banking secrecy in Singapore.
Frequently Asked Questions about Singapore Banks
What’s the strongest bank in Singapore?
From the explanation about the best banks, you should know that the strongest are the best banks we’ve listed in this article. Some of these banks include; DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, Maybank, and many others, to mention a few. In the long run, you can check out this platform for more information.
Is Singapore’s banking system well?
As of 2021, we can tell you that Singapore’s banking system is good. And because they are known as the safest in the world, the benefits of opening one cannot be overemphasized. However, the banks rank at positions 1, 2, and 3 for the same survey conducted for the Asian subcontinent. Also, you should note that Singapore has never had a bank failure since the bank’s inception.
Can a foreigner open a bank account in Singapore?
Of course, yes! The above banks are meant for expats, and they can open a bank account without disturbance from anyone. Meanwhile, to open a bank account, you’ll need to provide the documents mentioned in this articles. But be rest assured that an expat can open a bank account in the country.
Which country has the safest banking options?
Surprisingly, Singapore is among the countries with the safest banking system. From our research, Finland, Canada, and Hong Kong are the leading safest countries in the banking system. However, Singapore took the fourth position, after which Norway, Germany, and Switzerland are next.
Which bank is the safest in Asia?
When it comes to choosing the safest banks in Asia, there are more to pick. Sometimes, these banks are considered the lead because of their standard, customer-oriented facilities and services. However, the banks that made it to the top include; ICBC, China construction bank, and agricultural bank of China.
When it comes to living in Singapore, the first thing to consider is opening a bank account. Since the country is vibrant, and it’s one of the most desirable destinations for expat, choosing the best banking option is essential. Nonetheless, we’ve compiled the best banks in Singapore to choose from.