Factors to Consider
There are many banks available in Singapore. They offer a range of services and have differing requirements for opening an account. It's important to decide which services are most important to you when choosing a bank. Make sure you'll be able to add accounts for other services later on, if you think that might be the direction your investing takes. Understand that you may not qualify for an account with every bank and that the banks where you do qualify may not offer all the services you want. It's a good idea to do your research before getting started in the process of actually opening the account.
What Kind of Account Can I Open?
Most banks share similar restrictions for non-resident accounts. Non-residents are typically restricted to savings accounts. These usually have no associated fees so long as the account maintains a balance, generally S$1,000. ATM cards associated with your savings account can be used to access your money at many locations; however, these transactions are subject to various fees when initiated outside of Singapore. You may also be able to open a term deposit account that carries higher interest rates than the basic savings account. Deposits are typically accepted in several foreign currencies. It is important to understand that U.S. citizens may face special obstacles in opening overseas accounts and it is advised to complete some research regarding these additional restrictions.
Is my money really safe in Singapore?
Singapore's financial and banking system is extremely well-regulated. It also provides greater stability than economic conditions in other nations. A central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) monitors and regulates all the banks in the country. The SDIC (Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation) insures deposits up to S$50,000. Foreign currency deposits, however, are not covered by the SDIC and as such, are not insured.
It is unlikely that Singapore's government would allow any of its banks to fail, especially if it caused major losses for the depositors that exceeded the limits imposed by the SDIC. It is possible that local banks are more trustworthy in this regard, as the support provided by the government might not include foreign banks that only have a branch in the country. If you're really worried about a bank failing, you should probably go ahead and pick one of the banks based in Singapore.. The credit rating of Singapore is triple "A" and is agreed upon by all the major grading agencies.