Being an expat means that you have to take into consideration many factors when choosing your bank. Back home, it may be a personal recommendation, the results of research or simply, whomever offers the best interest rates at the time. Our global economy has been on shaky ground, but now as markets are strengthening, you may be curious as to how your bank can work for you. Generally speaking, banks in Singapore are well-regulated and well-managed. Many expats from other South East Asian countries often open banks in Singapore, due to their reliability. That being said, let us guide you through the best banks for your buck in Singapore!
This bank often tops the list as one of the best bank accounts to hold if you are an expat. The two banks, POSB and DBS, have now merged and operate as one. They actually offer an expat banking package, which is often the main motivation behind why expats choose this particular organisation. With this package, you can set up an account online easily without too many problems. They also offer a well-developed application so that you can check on your accounts at any time. Importantly, you can make fast transfers between currencies. Coupled with this is the fact that they have affiliated branches worldwide and a vast network of ATMs. There is no minimum balance required and no minimum salary input. For ease, reliability and availability, POSB/DBS may be the best choice.
You may know this bank due to their extensive advertising campaign about their women-only credit card. Strange as this may sound, UOB are actually an extremely popular bank with expats. If you decide to open an account with them, you will receive a NETS card which allows for cashless payments in a variety of locations. This is extremely convenient as you do not have to worry about having any physical money on you to pay for any purchases. Importantly, with UOB you can also transfer money between your bank account in Singapore and any other bank account elsewhere in the world. Many expats have praised the efficiency of their online application, which is paramount in our busy world. As many of us do not have time to go into the bank in person, it helps to keep a track on our money wherever we may be. Interestingly, the app also has a real-time list of shops and restaurants that are currently offering discounts, which may come in useful.
Citibank have had a global presence for quite some time, for better or for worse. However, they are certainly expanding in Singapore and can be found all over the city. Their online system, Citibank Express, is extremely popular with expats as it allows a user to open a bank account at any time of day, anywhere. You can also send money quickly, with low commissions, another feather in the cap for Citibank. The only drawback with this system is that it is demonstrably cheaper to transfer money between Citibank accounts globally. If your account is Citibank in United Kingdom, you can transfer money to Singapore at a low rate. However, if your bank back home is not Citibank, you can expect the costs to rise.
This is another globally popular bank, that boasts an extensive network of branches and ATMs. Interestingly for expats, HSBC has the option to access a Multi-Currency Savers Account, which allows you to transfer between elevel currencies, domestically and internationally. This ability to transfer around the world instantly is one of the main reasons why many expats choose HSBC. Another advantage is that there are branches all over the world, plus affiliates. You can also withdraw money from not only official ATMs, but from other cash machines associated with HSBC. This convenience has been one of the strong points of choosing a bank account with HSBC, and one that is perfectly geared towards expats.