Singapore corporate banking
20 May, 2014
Singapore banking sector is amongst the most preferred in the world. Consequently, Singapore business banking solutions are in excess demand, presenting global investors with the following challenges and benefits i) top tier banks invite only medium to large companies as customers ii) all banks are choosy of the clients they approve, accepting only some nationalities and industries iii) banks account approval often takes four weeks iv) there is no longer a dedicated bank officer for each client v) corporate debit visa cards are available from most banks.
Despite the challenges aforementioned, Singapore still attracts many global investors because banks in Singapore are highly reputable and provide full range of business facilities including multiple currencies, internet and telephone banking, checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards, and wealth management services.
Foreign companies can open a corporate bank account in Singapore without the need to incorporate a local entity. For example, a German company can open a Singapore business bank account to serve Asian customers and suppliers, without the burden of incorporating a local company. Singapore offshore banking allows two major advantages i) monetary assets in an offshore account will be legally tax-exempt until remitted back to the home country and ii) remittance of money can result in loss due to forex rates. On a more macro level, Singapore's tax exempt offshore banking allows investment into other Asian developing economies like India and China.
Global investors should note that global banks continue to tighten corporate account opening procedures with their internal compliance departments completing a more thorough due diligence of clients. Therefore, you should expect the bank account approval period to take up to 4 weeks. Furthermore, banks now require evidence of proof of business in the country where the corporate bank account will be, including sales contracts or lease agreement.
There are no special restrictions put on foreigners wishing to engage in corporate banking in Singapore. Thus, global entrepreneurs are welcome to approach Singapore banks for corporate accounts for their international businesses.
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