Products Comparisons

Best Business Banking Account - Standard Chartered vs Citibank vs Maybank vs HSBC (Updated for 2020)

J Kang
March 4, 2019

(*Information updated for 2020)

In “Best Business Banking Account in 2019. OCBC vs UOB vs DBS”, we compared the business banking account options provided by our local banks.

We decided that it would be more holistic to extend this effort to foreign banks.

This time, we consider 4 foreign banks, namely Standard Chartered, Citibusiness, Maybank and HSBC. The criteria for comparison was retained to ensure consistency.

1. If your decision is based on the complexity of the application process

Standard Chartered Citibank Maybank HSBC
Process
  1. Prepare Required Documents
  2. Contact Bank
  1. Download Form
  2. Contact Bank
  1. Apply Online
  2. Prepare Documents
  3. Go to bank branch with required personnel
  1. Submit Business Account Enquiry form online
  2. Bank will contact you
  3. Relationship manager will assist the onboarding process
Documents Required
  1. Business Account Opening Form
  2. Photocopy of NRIC / Passport of
    • At least 2 directors
    • All Principal Shareholders (with 10% or more), and
    • All Signatories
  3. Company Memorandum of Articles of Association (M&A)
  1. CitiBusiness Account Opening Form
  2. Account Opening Resolutions
  3. CitiBusiness Online Authorisation Form (For Digital Banking)
  1. Bank's Standard copy of resolution
  2. Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A)
  3. NRIC / Passport for all Authorised Signatories / Directors /
  4. Minimum deposit in cash or cheque
  1. Unspecified Identity Documents

*Information updated for 2020*

*Information updated for 2020*

What stands out from the rigmarole of document submissions and physical appointments is HSBC’s well-guided process of opening a business account.

2020 Update: All foreign banks require at least a face-to-face meeting with their relationship managers before you open an account with them. Be sure to prepare the necessary documents beforehand.

2. If your decision is based on the types of accounts available

Standard Chartered Citibank Maybank HSBC
Accounts
  • BusinessOne Current Account
  • Business$aver Current Account
  • Business Non USD Foreign Currency Account
  • CitiBusiness Online
  • CitiBusiness High Yield Account
  • MaxiSave Account
  • FlexiBiz Account
  • PremierBiz Account
  • Foreign Currency Current Account
  • Conveyancing Account
  • Business Vantage Account

*Information updated for 2020*

*Information updated for 2020*

In terms of variety, all banks provide an average of 2 types of business accounts.

Upon closer inspection, however, we felt that the accounts from Maybank fit the operating needs of SMEs better, as compared to offerings from the other banks.

Saver accounts might not be as relevant for small business operations.

2020 Update: The foreign banks have re-organised their resources to focus on digital banking capabilities. The differences between these bank accounts are mostly negligible now.

3. If your decision is based on the requirements of the account

Standard Chartered Citibank Maybank HSBC
BusinessOne Business$aver CitiBusiness Online CitiBusiness High Yield FlexiBiz PremierBiz Business Vantage
Minimum Balance
  • S$30,000 for SGD (avg. daily balance)
  • US$30,000 for USD (avg. daily balance)
  • S$50,000 for SGD (avg. daily balance)
  • US$50,000 for USD (avg. daily balance)
Not stated Not stated N.A. $30,000 (avg. daily balance) Not stated
Minimum Initial Deposit
  • S$30,000 for SGD Acct.
  • US$30,000 for USD Acct.
  • S$50,000 for SGD Acct.
  • US$50,000 for USD Acct.
S$100,000 S$100,000 $1,000 $1,000 Not stated

*Information updated for 2020*

*Information updated for 2020*

Unfortunately, we are unable to find detailed information online about many of the bank accounts.

2020 Update: We are still unable to find most of this information. Thus, we believe that these accounts might be niche and not for mass-market SMEs.

Conclusion

Ultimately, we felt that the foreign banks could have provided more information to the general public.

Although there may be strategic reasons as to why they prefer not to reveal product details to non-clients online, we feel that this can be counterproductive as it doesn’t allow potential clients to clarify their doubts by themselves online.

As the winner of two categories, Maybank reveals the most complete information online compared to the rest of the foreign banks, and we feel that this makes it the most SME-friendly foreign bank in Singapore!

2020 Update: If you noticed, we have removed 2 tables regarding the fees and the stated benefits of these accounts. It is disappointing that we are unable to gather enough information on these foreign bank business accounts to make a comprehensive comparison with local banks.


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About the author

J. Kang is the foodie undergraduate who spends most of her time scouting for food around Singapore Management University. The Corporate Communications major enjoys communicating with guests while she is working behind the locally inspired bar(s), occasionally.

business
Banking Account
SMEs
Standard Chartered
Citibank
Maybank
HSBC
Comparison

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