If you are a Malaysian or a foreigner in Malaysia but wish to open a bank account in Singapore for your business operation. Here is what you can do. Before you open a bank account, the general rule of thumb is to always reserve your decision until you first scout around and conduct a bit of research and weigh your options. This is due to the fact that the banks in Singapore offer various services to corporations. Among the features you can expect would be credit cards, multi-currency accounts and trade financing, to name a few.

Why a Corporate Bank Account is Important for Businesses

Aside from the incorporation requirements of opening a corporate business bank account, the need for one is further emphasised based on these reasons:

  • To conduct financial transactions with other stakeholders and governmental agencies

  • Reduce financial administration work for yourself and your employees

  • Leveraging on the bank’s services and capabilities to support your financial operations and/or business expansion plans in the future

Requirements For Opening a Business Bank Account

These are a few documents required to successfully open a new business bank account:

  • Corporate Account Opening Form – these have to be completed and duly signed by authorised signatories of your company.

  • Board of Directors Resolution – this is another important document because it states that the company is given the green light to go ahead with opening an account. You would not need to prepare an additional letter for this because most banks would already have the format. Thus, you would just need to get the necessary authorised signatures on the form.

  • Certified True Copy of Certificate of Incorporation – as proof that your company has indeed been incorporated; banks need a certified true copy of the certificate of incorporation. Be mindful that only the company secretary or any one of the directors is allowed to certify this.

  • Certified True Copy of Company’s Business Profile from the Company Registrar – again, this can only be certified by the company secretary or any one of the directors.

  • Certified True Copy of Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  • Certified True Copy of Passport/Singapore IC and Residential Address Proof of Directors, Signatories and Ultimate Beneficiary Owners.

Of course, each bank would have different requirements but these would be the general documents needed in order to open a corporate bank account.

Depending on each individual bank, the signatories might be required to be present when opening the account. You can easily obtain more information on the requirements from each individual bank which would also aid in your selection process. All you need to do then would be to understand your business requirement and see which bank would best fit those needs.

Corporate Bank Account Opening Requirements for Foreigners Setting Up PT or PT PMA Company

If you are a foreigner who wishes to set up a PT company in Indonesia, you can still do so under a local nominee arrangement. In this situation, having a corporate bank account is essential for you as you can take control of your company by managing all cash flows.

The requirements to open a corporate bank account in Indonesia is relatively simple and straightforward. These requirements include:

  • Initial deposit – the initial deposit differs from bank to bank

  • Original or copy of your passport and KITAS will be required

  • Original or copy of the business permit and proof of identity

  • Original or copy of your company tax identification number (NPWP)

  • Original or copy of your Deed of Establishment

  • Original or copy of your Articles of Association (if any)

  • Business license

  • Domicile letter

  • Monthly account administration fee

Documents Required to Open a Corporate Bank Account for PT or PT PMA Companies in Indonesia

If you fulfil the requirements for opening a corporate bank account, it is important to note the documents that you will need to submit for a successful application.

The documents that you will need to submit as listed below:

1. Copy of tax identification number (NPWP) and tax certificate (SKT)
2. Copy of your Domicile letter from the building management or tenancy agreement
3. Copy of your Deed of Establishment (AKTA)
4. Copy of Business Registration Number (NIB)
5. Copy of the identification cards of all directors, shareholders, commissioners, and authorised signers
6. Copy of Business License (Izin Usaha)
7. Copy of Approval of AKTA from the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights (SK Kehakiman)

Aside from those documents, you are to also fill up and complete the bank application form. Some banks require more documents aside from the list above – your bank of choice will let you know which documents that they will require upon registering of your bank account.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account for Representative Offices in Indonesia

Representative offices in Indonesia can also open a corporate business bank account, although they are not allowed to generate any revenue within the country. To do so, you will need to submit the following documents to your chosen bank:

  • Copy of tax identification number (NPWP) and tax certificate (SKT)

  • Copy of your Domicile letter from the building management or tenancy agreement

  • Copy of KPPA attachment

  • Copy of Business Registration Number (NIB)

  • Copy of the identification card of the Chief Representative Office

Similar to the procedures for a PT or PT PMA company, verification of the original documents will be conducted by bank officer physically or through a video call.

Things to Look Out For

The bank of your choice would ultimately depend on what you want out of your bank account. However, due to the steep competition between banks and financial institutions these days, you would probably find that there are many attractive benefits for those who are looking to open corporate bank accounts. Some banks even waive bank charges for certain processes for a given time.

All these should be taken into consideration because they would go towards savings for your company. Still, it is always good to scrutinise in full detail the benefits on offer because it might turn out that subsequent charges after the waiver period is higher than normal.

Some of the factors to consider and questions to ask yourself are:

  • Internet banking services– do they provide internet banking services, and if so, is the online banking platform intuitive and easy to use?

  • Minimum deposit amount– how much do you have to put as a minimum deposit to open your corporate bank account?

  • Monthly fees– how much is the bank charging for monthly fees?

  • Ease of conducting transactions– is it easy for you to transfer funds to other organisations?

  • Financial services & capabilities– do they have the services and capabilities that you will need?

  • Reputation– do they have any track records that are undesirable such as scams, frauds, etc.?

  • Currencies availability – do they have the currencies that you plan to transact in?

Here are some of the fees that you may want to check with your shortlisted banks to help in making your decision:

  • Monthly average balance

  • Fall-below fees

  • Early closure fees

  • ATM withdrawal fees

  • International transfer fees

Banks in Indonesia

After understanding what you should take note of when deciding on your financial partner, you must be wondering what are banks in Indonesia that you can consider. There are both local and international banks in Indonesia.

Here’s a list of the top 3 local banks in Indonesia:

For those who are considering or prefers international banks, here are some of them who have branches in Indonesia:

Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Policies

With the rise of digital banking, financial institutions have stepped up their security, including banks in Indonesia. All the banks in Indonesia have implemented polices to combat anti-money laundering and financing for terrorists.

In order to do so, banks have put forth a set of guidelines, which includes:

  • Confirming the identity of the customer and the beneficial owner(s)

  • Ensuring all data collected during the customer due diligence process and financial transactions are accurate

  • Terminating any business relationship should they identify and have verified links to money laundering or terrorist financing activities

  • Rejecting any financial transaction should they identify and have verified links to money laundering or terrorist financing activities

Banks will also undertake customer due diligence measures in these scenarios:

  • Establishing business relations with customers

  • Carrying out financial transactions that are above USD/EUR15,000 or equivalent to IDR 100 million

  • Suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing activities

  • Suspicions of data and information received from the customer

Laws Governing Indonesian Banks

The banking industry in Indonesia is regulated by Bank Indonesia (BI). It executes numerous monetary policies and ensures the rupiah’s stability.

Law No. 7 of 1992 governs banks in Indonesia, which has since been revised by Law No. 10 of 1998. Law No. 7 was enacted to encourage Islamic banking where commercial and rural banks can both operate on Islamic banking principles under Law No. 10. The monetary policy regulations are governed by Law No. 21 of 2011. It also controls and supervises banking institutions, monitors the solvency of banks, and conducts bank examinations.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BI) has issued Regulation No. 14/24/PBI/2012, which addresses the Single Presence Policy (SPP). This rule increases the competitiveness of the Indonesian banking industry by improving supervisory standards and streamlining bank ownership.

Indonesian banks are supervised by the Bank of Indonesia (BI) and are required to disclose international loans and foreign currency influxes to the BI. Aside from the BI and the OJK, there are a number of other authorities in Indonesia that are responsible for bank regulation, which are:

Common Violations of Bank Laws in Inodonesia

Indonesia’s government has enacted a number of new banking-related regulations and has also begun to prosecute persons who break the new legislation.

Some of the common violations of bank laws in Indonesia include:

1. Exporters who do not keep foreign exchange gains from natural resources in Indonesian banks

Exporters must deposit their foreign exchange gains received from natural resources in Indonesian banks, according to current bank legislation in the country.

2. Carrying large sums of foreign currency while crossing the border

One of Indonesia’s banking rules currently prohibits the importation of foreign currencies on behalf of either Indonesians or foreigners. Some banks have even been accused of exposing depositors’ personal information. Banks are only allowed to reveal customer personal information when a government agency or court orders it.


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