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Old 05-06-2019, 09:17 PM   #1
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Open Corporate Account

Dear all,

Require some help here, recently me and and biz partner (PRC) open a company in Singapore in May doing shipping and trading related biz. The issued share capital was $100,000 with the PRC guy taking 90% and me 10%.

However recently we tried to open a corporate with UOB and Maybank,we were told they rejected our application. Not sure why as they refused to tell us the reason even though we provided all the required documents. Anyway we are doing legitimate shipping business.

Now in the midst of trying with OCBC and pending the status. Meantime can any RM here guide with opening with other banks on corporate account? We are really keen to kickstart our business soon.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:33 AM   #2
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Hi guys morning,
Can help ? Any advice please ?
Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:36 PM   #3
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OCBC? Pray you get rejected now rather than face lots of issues later on.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Hi guys morning,
Can help ? Any advice please ?
Thanks.
Your partner got good standing?
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:48 PM   #5
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Dear all,

Require some help here, recently me and and biz partner (PRC) open a company in Singapore in May doing shipping and trading related biz. The issued share capital was $100,000 with the PRC guy taking 90% and me 10%.

However recently we tried to open a corporate with UOB and Maybank,we were told they rejected our application. Not sure why as they refused to tell us the reason even though we provided all the required documents. Anyway we are doing legitimate shipping business.

Now in the midst of trying with OCBC and pending the status. Meantime can any RM here guide with opening with other banks on corporate account? We are really keen to kickstart our business soon.

Thanks in advance.
Nowadays it is getting tougher, but not impossible, to open corporate bank due to bank's strict AML/CFT guidelines.

Offhand, I can see 2 potential issues:

i) Foreign shareholder with 90% shareholdings
ii) Trading/Shipping companies - potentially classified as high risk segment

The questions that could be raised during your account opening could involve the bank asking about your foreign PRC shareholder and his S$90k funding. Next they might ask about the trading activities, commonly traded goods/companies/countries, amount of fund flow etc. Additional documents might also be requested.

Banks will never reveal the reasons for declining an account opening but usually the clue will be on the areas they pay special attention to... e.g. questions asked and additional documents requested.

Feel free to share more details on questions raised and info provided during your account opening.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:16 PM   #6
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Hi LexusIS
Thanks for your comments. I think you hit most of the points.

1. We have provided Maybank actually a lot of supporting documents becos our company in SG just set up. We passed them contracts like charter party and invoices of a HK company which my partner owned. In the end, still rejected.
2. Problem is my partner name. His name is a very common name in China and may have some issues. I have provided bank his non crime record as well. In the end, still rejected.
3. Actuallly SGD100k isn't a lot also, we placed a higher paid up capital to show future counterparty that we are serious in business as well.

I am really stressed as I wanted to kickstart our business fast as well. Now waiting for OCBC and maybe if rejected again I may have to look for smaller banks to try ?
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:22 PM   #7
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Hi LexusIS
Thanks for your comments. I think you hit most of the points.

1. We have provided Maybank actually a lot of supporting documents becos our company in SG just set up. We passed them contracts like charter party and invoices of a HK company which my partner owned. In the end, still rejected.
2. Problem is my partner name. His name is a very common name in China and may have some issues. I have provided bank his non crime record as well. In the end, still rejected.
3. Actuallly SGD100k isn't a lot also, we placed a higher paid up capital to show future counterparty that we are serious in business as well.

I am really stressed as I wanted to kickstart our business fast as well. Now waiting for OCBC and maybe if rejected again I may have to look for smaller banks to try ?
Yes there are many similar Chinese names which might turn up hits eg Chinese PEP like general. But usually with such hits, they may ask some clarifying questions and review before classifying the hits as a false alerts. But somehow it might be too close for comfort.

In this case, if we know it could be due to the foreign shareholder, my advice is

1) check with the foreign shareholder if he is already banking as an individual customers with any banks locally. Opening an account with them will usually be easier as they already have his details and transactional records

2) if he doesn’t have any personal accounts here, perhaps he can check with his HK or CN personal or corporate bank to do a referral to their regional office in SG. This will help to facilitate account opening and act as a form of reference whom they can also refer to.

3) if in the worst case scenario that he doesn’t bank with a regional bank, besides the smaller banks (RHB, CIMB), you can also consider the Chinese banks here (BOC, ICBC etc). They should be better at screening Chinese names.

Good luck in your account opening, so keep us updated on the status.

Last edited by LexusIS; 06-06-2019 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
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LexusIS, thank you once again for your valuable inputs.

1. I had overlooked he had a DBS corporate account in HK. He been in SG for 3times for the past 2 months. However DBS nowadays went digital and their appt usually require advance booking. Therefore, I could not get the appt as his travel is too last min always. Tried to walk in as well, however they rejected me.
Other thing is that, we had register the company via an agent and this agent had in house UOB and Maybank. I can't possibly bring him to queue at branch for 2hrs like the case of OCBC HQ.
I will ask him to ask DBS HK for a reference or print out a statement for a proof and provide to DBS SG.
2. However let's hope OCBC get approved and I will not have these further troubles.
3. If all fails, I will have to look at small banks and China banks that you had mentioned which are already on my shortlist.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:09 PM   #9
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LexusIS, thank you once again for your valuable inputs.

1. I had overlooked he had a DBS corporate account in HK. He been in SG for 3times for the past 2 months. However DBS nowadays went digital and their appt usually require advance booking. Therefore, I could not get the appt as his travel is too last min always. Tried to walk in as well, however they rejected me.
Other thing is that, we had register the company via an agent and this agent had in house UOB and Maybank. I can't possibly bring him to queue at branch for 2hrs like the case of OCBC HQ.
I will ask him to ask DBS HK for a reference or print out a statement for a proof and provide to DBS SG.
2. However let's hope OCBC get approved and I will not have these further troubles.
3. If all fails, I will have to look at small banks and China banks that you had mentioned which are already on my shortlist.
Oh you went thru an agent? Have you tried asking the agent?

The agent will usually have a good relationship with the Bankers and should be able to find a way to help you. Or should at the very least find out wat is the issue.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:48 AM   #10
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Nowadays it is getting tougher, but not impossible, to open corporate bank due to bank's strict AML/CFT guidelines.

Offhand, I can see 2 potential issues:

i) Foreign shareholder with 90% shareholdings
ii) Trading/Shipping companies - potentially classified as high risk segment

The questions that could be raised during your account opening could involve the bank asking about your foreign PRC shareholder and his S$90k funding. Next they might ask about the trading activities, commonly traded goods/companies/countries, amount of fund flow etc. Additional documents might also be requested.

Banks will never reveal the reasons for declining an account opening but usually the clue will be on the areas they pay special attention to... e.g. questions asked and additional documents requested.

Feel free to share more details on questions raised and info provided during your account opening.
The issues you raised could easily to be overcome.

Set up a company with himself as sole director and shareholder. Then apply to open corporate bank account. Then change shareholder/director. Then see what happens after
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:36 AM   #11
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The issues you raised could easily to be overcome.

Set up a company with himself as sole director and shareholder. Then apply to open corporate bank account. Then change shareholder/director. Then see what happens after
Then you have to update the bank

Then bank closes account.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:28 AM   #12
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The issues you raised could easily to be overcome.

Set up a company with himself as sole director and shareholder. Then apply to open corporate bank account. Then change shareholder/director. Then see what happens after
Lol that's a potential solution. You can probably get away with such sneaky workaround 5-8yrs back, but much harder nowadays.

But as one bro bright shared, there is a high chance of the bank closing off the corporate account. Besides that they could also either reject your transactions (e.g. incoming/outgoing TTs) or in worst case freezing the account if there is suspected AML/CFT activities.

It can happen during:

a) Update of signatory: where bank will require information on signatory and shareholders/director changes if any

b) Transaction monitoring: where banks are monitoring & reviewing all ins and outs that hit the banks triggers (Trading companies transactions are very often surfaced for bank's review)

c) Annual Reviews: depending on the Customer Due Diligence risk category, reviews could be performed annually on the company and their transactions

Last edited by LexusIS; 07-06-2019 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:43 AM   #13
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Then you have to update the bank

Then bank closes account.
Close only when transactions are dubious.

I have a personal account which the bank 'request' me to close because it felt uncomfortable with some transactions ha ha. And I voluntarily closed it without delay.

Last edited by henrylbh; 07-06-2019 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:15 PM   #14
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Close only when transactions are dubious.

I have a personal account which the bank 'request' me to close because it felt uncomfortable with some transactions ha ha. And I voluntarily closed it without delay.
hahah individual fewer review triggers, usually will be transactions or unless your name get thrown up during their daily system screening.

Felt uncomfortable with some transactions? Aiya for individuals must be that usual few, unexplained inflow/outflow, comingling of business proceeds into personal accounts, activities not inline with your individual profile etc. Just explain nicely and at most provide requested documentary proof … should be ok one. Unless guai lan with them or really got suspicious activity. lol

For corporate, the screening can do until cows come home and still may not be completed.... directors/shareholders/signatores/UBOs, business activity, funds in/out, potentially even customers/suppliers/goods transacted in...…… and in extreme cases, the customer/suppliers of your customers/suppliers. Can you imagine those with complex layering and/or trust structure.

Banks are buffing up their compliance units and enhancing their compliance systems, these ppl not there to "jiat liao bi" (waste rice) one lor. That's why nowadays more phone calls, account closures etc lol
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:01 PM   #15
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hahah individual fewer review triggers, usually will be transactions or unless your name get thrown up during their daily system screening.

Felt uncomfortable with some transactions? Aiya for individuals must be that usual few, unexplained inflow/outflow, comingling of business proceeds into personal accounts, activities not inline with your individual profile etc. Just explain nicely and at most provide requested documentary proof should be ok one. Unless guai lan with them or really got suspicious activity. lol
The transactions were all personal and nothing to do with business. After a few questions, I told RM that if the bank feels not comfortable, I am willing to close it. So close, I did, though the bank would be ok if I convert it to a joint account which I am not willing
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