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Comprehensive Guide for Corporate Bank Account opening in Malaysia

The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of requirements for opening of corporate bank account and to assist you with choosing a bank for the banking needs of your Malaysia company. The focus is on banking needs of small to mid-size companies. Note that the information presented here is for general guidance only. Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few banks, you should confirm the account features with the bank(s) directly to ensure you are aware of their latest policies and offerings.

In recent years, most Banks in Malaysia have tightened up the process of opening company’s bank account. In a recent update, a foreigner who would like to act as the authorised signatory of the company’s bank account may have to possess a valid business/working visa/permit, failing so he may not be allowed to be the cheque signatory.

Nevertheless, good news to you that 3E Accounting as an expert in setting up companies in Malaysia and assisting in bank account opening, we have good track records in assisting plenty of foreign clients to open company bank accounts successfully. Malaysia will remains a country that welcomes foreign investors to invest and start their businesses in Malaysia to help in growing the job market and help to help boost the economy. The chances of successful bank account opening can be increased tremendously if your company has a strong holding company overseas to back up its finances.

Generally, banks in Malaysia require you to have the following items (after opening company in Malaysia) in order to open a corporate bank account for your Malaysia-incorporated company:
– Standard account-opening forms signed by the authorized signatories
– Certified true copy by the Company Secretary of following documents:

  • A resolution by the board of directors approving the opening of corporate bank account(s) (Please see below for the information required for preparing the resolution)
  • Super Form
  • Constitution
  • Notice of Registration

– Copies of passports or NRIC and proofs of residential addresses for directors, authorised signatories, and ultimate beneficial owners.
– Copy of Certificate of Incumbency of the holding company (applicable for corporate shareholder only). Certificate of Incumbency is an official document that lists the names of incumbent directors and officers within an organization, and their corporate position within it. An Incumbency Certificate is used as confirmation of the identity of the signing authorities of a company and to prove that they are authorized to enter into legally-binding transactions on the company’s behalf.
– Recommendation of an introducer if requested by the bank

Different banks will have different requirements as to the opening of bank account(s). You are advised to visit the preferred bank to confirm on the requirements, where necessary. Generally, you are required to furnish us with the following information in order for us to prepare the resolution and relevant documents for bank account opening:

  • Bank’s name, branch and address
  • Type of account – e.g. current account, internet banking, foreign currency account etc.
  • Sample/Format of opening account resolution as provided by bank
  • Type of statutory forms and number of copies required by the bank
  • Authorised signatories details (name as per IC, IC number, designation (if not Company Director))
  • Mode of operation (solely or jointly or etc)

Most banks require that the account signatories and directors be physically present in Malaysia for the signing of official documentation at the time of opening corporate bank account. Some banks may even impose requirement on presence of physical office before processing your application for bank opening. Additionally, the banks may require additional documents on a case-by-case basis.

Be forewarned that all banks in Malaysia must comply with stringent laws and regulations. They therefore will carry out a comprehensive series of checks and investigations on their potential clients before opening a new account for a company.

This is not only to safeguard their risks against any potential default, but also are a part of their regulatory compliance and stringent anti-money-laundering policies— as you may know, Malaysia is very serious about combating terrorist financing and other transactions of illegal or doubtful nature. Thus, a company involved in dealings that are not above-board will not find it easy to engage in such transactions.

Depending on the amount of investigation that a bank carries out to confirm the identity and/or creditworthiness of the directors, secretary and the company itself, it may take between few weeks and three months to open a new company bank account. The processing time can be longer for applications without being physically present in Malaysia and the chances of approval is extremely low unless your holding company has a very strong relationship manager with the bank.

Hence, we highly recommend you to be present in Malaysia to apply for corporate bank account(s) opening to avoid any delay and to improve the chances of approval. A bank always reserves the right to request the beneficial owner to be physically present prior to the approval of a bank account.

Please let us know should you want us to arrange OCBC banker to meet up with you in Malaysia. It is always more convenient to open the bank account with our affiliated banker as they have the full information of our Corporate Secretary.

For opening of bank accounts for a sole-director Company with physical presence (please note that most banks would usually require physical presence by at least one director), we can assist free-of-charge if you open bank account(s) with OCBC bank. If you are arranging for bank account(s) to be opened at your own preferred bank, you are to visit the respective branch on your own.

For opening of bank account(s) at your own preferred bank which require our nominee director/secretary to sign on the bank account opening forms, a directors’ written resolution must be prepared to authorise the director/company secretary for such execution. Our fees for assisting in the preparation of the resolution and signing on the bank documents is from RM159 (W/GST) for each bank account.

Kindly be reminded to check with your bank whether they will allow the documents to be signed without physical presence in the bank branch. If you require our nominee director/secretary to provide outgoing signing of documents at the bank branch, an extra charge from RM530 (W/GST) is applicable.

For opening of bank accounts for a company, some banks may require presence of all directors at the branch / other branches / oversea branch of the bank. However, please note that not all bank will have such option of signature verification at other branches / their oversea branch and such verification at oversea branch will generally have a lower approval rate.

For bank account opening process, we can only provide documents certification services including copy of passport/NRIC only if the bearers are present in our office and the original documents are produced. Extra charges will apply.

If these sound complicated, feel free to contact our consultant any time at info@3ecpa.com.my for us to assist you with your company set up and opening of your company’s bank account in Malaysia.