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Opening a bank account in Malaysia

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How to proceed to open a bank account in Malaysia as an expat? Here is some useful information on the Malaysian banking system.

Foreigners settling and working in Malaysia will probably wish to open a bank account. This will not only allow you to receive your salary or pension but also to perform many transactions such as transfers, payment of bills, etc. Hence, you are advised to inquire on the different banks present in the country and on the services and facilities offered before taking a decision. This will also give you enough time to gather required documents.

Banks

Malaysia's banking system is governed by the Central Bank which is located in Kuala Lumpur. Foreign banks, for their part, are mostly located in major cities while local banks are more common and accessible in smaller cities and towns. Some of these are: Affin Bank, Alliance Bank Malaysia, AmBank Malaysia, CIMB Bank, CitiBank, Hong Leong Bank, Maybank2u, RHB Bank and United Overseas Bank Malaysia, etc.

You can also find a few Islamic banks such as Bank Islam in some cities.

Procedures

Foreign investors and work permit holders wishing to open a bank account in Malaysia must produce the following documents:

  • a valid work permit
  • a partnership certificate
  • a partner who already has an account in this bank
  • proof of address.

Foreigners wishing to settle for a long-term in Malaysia are required to produce the following documents:

  • their Malaysia My Second Home visa (MM2H)
  • their original passport along with a copy
  • your work permit
  • an employment certificate stamped and signed by your employer if you have a work permit
  • proof of address.

Types of accounts

Foreigners in Malaysia are eligible to three types of bank accounts: savings account, current account and a combined account of the two previously mentioned. Note that the combined account will allow you to avoid the debit balance and also provides for an account to account transfer. You can also choose to open any of these types of accounts with a third party provided the latter has the appropriate visa and is able to provide required documents.

International banks

You can as well open a bank account in Malaysia right from your home country. You simply have to inquire with different international banks having a branch in Malaysia. Note, however, that formalities may differ from one bank to another.

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and the Standard Chartered Bank are some of the major international banks which have set up in Malaysia.

Online banking

Internet banking is very popular in Malaysia. Most banks offer online banking services, although some are limited in terms of transactions. Moreover, some banks will allow you to perform transactions through PayPal. Foreign PayPal card holders can also join it to their Malaysian bank account if their bank allows them to do so.

 Useful links:

Expat.com - Malaysia Forum 
Banks Malaysia - All about banks in Malaysia banksmalaysia.com
BNM - Central Bank of Malaysia www.bnm.gov.my

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