By UOB FDI Advisory
As a leading financial hub, Singapore offers world-class financial services, making it a popular destination for corporations to set up their business. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), more than 37,000 international companies in Singapore use the city state as a base to orchestrate their growth strategies in Southeast Asia. A common query from new investors in the country would be how to open a corporate banking account in Singapore.
In this video presented by EDB, UOB’s Lee Eng Keat and Diana Chan give an overview of how new investors in Singapore can open a corporate account with UOB.
The video covers:
- Information to share with your bank – help them understand your business
- Documents to prepare – get these ready before reaching out to your bank
- Overview of banks’ due diligence checks and account opening processes
Beyond banking services, Eng Keat also shares about how UOB’s FDI Advisory unit can help companies set up their regional operations in Asia, via its close collaborations with government agencies, trade associations and professional service providers.
Watch on to find out how to facilitate a seamless account opening experience.
Rovik Robert (Singapore EDB):
Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us for today’s video. We’re going to be talking about what it takes to open a corporate banking account. I definitely know this is one of the frequently asked questions, and we’re very happy to have Diana and Eng Keat from UOB here today. Before we start, we always love to have our guests introduce themselves so maybe you could give us a quick intro.
Diana Chan (Executive Director, Group Channels & Digitalisation, UOB):
Hi, good day everyone! I’m Diana from United Overseas Bank, Group Channels and Digitalisation. Currently, I am managing the customer experience and strategic projects within my function. On top of what I do today, I also partner Eng Keat, who is here with me, in driving regional connectivity including foreign direct investment. Over to you, Eng Keat.
Lee Eng Keat (Executive Director, FDI Advisory Unit, UOB):
Thanks, Diana. My name is Eng Keat and I am part of the Foreign Direct Investment Advisory unit. My team, essentially, helps companies set up and understand the market opportunities here in ASEAN and support them through the whole process.
Great, so now I’m curious, what will we be learning today?
Lee Eng Keat:
Today, we’ll be giving you an overview of the corporate banking account opening process in Singapore. Please note that the information shared here is for general guidance only, and you should speak to us directly for the most up-to-date information.
As one of the leading financial centres of the world, Singapore offers world-class banking and financial services for corporate clients. While opening a corporate banking account in Singapore is a relatively simple and straightforward process, banks in Singapore adhere to a stringent regulatory framework and strategy set by the Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS).
Can you take us through the account opening process and share what are some of the information banks in Singapore will require?
Sure, I’ll be more than happy to share with you what’s really needed to open a corporate account with us.
To open a corporate banking account in Singapore, we will first need to understand your business. At this stage, it is recommended that you provide us with basic company information such as your company’s background, its country of incorporation, the nature of your business, and your company’s business aspirations in Singapore and/or the region to establish your banking requirements. Other information includes details of your company’s directors and the source of funds that will be injected to the account.
Next, we will need you to complete some forms and provide us with the necessary documents. Documents that banks in Singapore typically ask for include:
- Copy of the business profile e.g. Certificate of Incorporation or the equivalent
- Copy of company’s MAA (Memorandum and Articles of Association) in English
- Company’s resolution
- Copies of passports or national identification cards
- Proof of residential addresses
Do note that the documents required will depend on the complexities of the company structure. You may also visit our website to obtain a checklist of documents that may be required. It is paramount that you provide all the required details and documents to avoid any delay in the corporate banking account opening process.
Once companies have provided all the required information, what is the next step and what if companies have any concerns?
Not to worry as we will be with you throughout the journey! Once you have provided all the required documents, a face-to-face verification meeting will be arranged at your convenience to facilitate the account opening. During the meeting, our bank officers will provide assistance to ensure all required documents are in place and witness the signing of documents. We will appreciate that all account signatories are present for the meeting. In addition, Bank officers will also usually take this time to explain the account features and address any concerns that you may have.
Once the bank receives all the completed information and all due diligence requirements have been fulfilled, we will inform you once the account in Singapore has been successfully set up. Throughout the entire corporate banking account opening process, we will be with you. We can arrange for a phone call or a meeting to provide a step-by-step guidance as well as to answer any queries that you may have.
That’s quite reassuring. Now, I also remember at the very beginning you talked about how UOB is facilitating foreign investments as well. So I’m curious, can you share about how UOB is helping foreign businesses expand into Singapore?
Lee Eng Keat:
Sure Rovik, I can answer that. To paint the context first though, at UOB, we believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to creating long-term value for our customers. As Asia and ASEAN continues to attract more foreign direct investments (FDI), we are committed towards connecting our customers to cross-border business opportunities for sustainable growth.
Thus, the creation and the development of the Foreign Direct Investment Advisory unit.
So besides offering banking and financial services, UOB set up the FDI Advisory unit to support foreign companies’ overseas expansion into Asia. Our dedicated team of FDI Advisers are equipped to help facilitate your market entry by providing deep market insights and access to the Bank’s partner ecosystem comprising regional government agencies, trade and business associations. The team harnesses the strengths of UOB’s extensive network and deep local knowledge to deliver integrated business solutions through its ten FDI centres.
If you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Great! This is an awesome amount of information and I really appreciate it and think that a lot of our audience members will, as well. For those who want to find out more, please reach out to Diana and Eng Keat.
Eng Keat and Diana, once again, thank you!
UOB - Guidelines on opening a corporate bank account in Singapore was first published as part of EDB’s SG Investment Clinic. Reproduced with permission from EDB.
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