Current Accounts or Checking Accounts, as they may also be called, are a banking product into which deposits and withdrawals can be made. The most important characteristic of such accounts is the check writing facility. You can make payments through checks issued by your bank. Current accounts are available at all banks in Singapore and are used for both personal and business purposes. Let us break down the process by which you can go about obtaining a current account:
Age – You should be atleast 18 years old. In some cases, you should be in the 21-65 range.
Nationality – Singapore citizen / Singapore permanent resident / foreigner.
Savings Account – Certain current accounts require that the prospective customer already have a savings account with the bank; this savings account will be linked with the current account.
If, for instance, you are opening an eCurrent Account with POSB, you must have a POSB Savings Account into which a minimum initial deposit of S$500 should be made and the average daily balance for a month in the linked POSB Savings Account should not fall below S$1,500 failing which a fall-below fee of S$2 will be levied.
Initial Deposit – Some banks do not require any initial deposit while some banks do; since this requirement varies bank to bank, check with the respective bank.
Annual Income – Certain current accounts have minimum annual income requirements. The Bonus$aver Account from Standard Chartered Bank, for example, has a minimum annual income requirement of $30,000 for Singaporeans and PRs.
Prospective customers are generally required to submit identification and address proofs. We’ve tried to list out the documents that are accepted as ID or address proof:
ID Proof (with photo)
▪ For Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents – NRIC (front and back)
▪ Foreigners – Passport and Employment Pass (EP) or S-Pass or Student Pass
▪ Last 3 months’ utility bill.
▪ Last 3 months’ bank or credit card statements.
▪ Letter or correspondence from the human resource department of current employer stating / showing residential address.
▪ Government-issued documents stating address (e.g. IRAS, CPF, ICA)
▪ Tenancy agreement showing the address of the customer and having the customer as one of the contracting parties.
▪ Foreigners may also be required to submit proof of overseas address. ID card, passport or driving licence (with the customers photo on it), which shows the customers address in the home country may be acceptable.
▪ Past 12 months CPF statements
▪ Income documents: Salaried employees – current or previous months’ computerized payslip from current employer or latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment (if this document is faxed, please fax from the bottom end first)
The Application Process
You can apply for a current account in various ways (not all methods are available with all banks):
Online You can fill out the online application form and upload required documents online. You may also need a valid SingPass to authorise CPF to release your statement online to your bank as part of your application.
By email You will have to email a set of required documents to the email address specified by your bank; you can expect your bank to contact you in this regard in a few days. Citibank Singapore give you the option to apply via email.
Through branches You can visit a branch of the bank with all the required documents
By mail The customer can download and fill up the application form and send it to the bank with required documentary proof. Some banks, for instance, Maybank, allow you to obtain a branch appointment online, at which time you can visit the particular branch and open the account.