Opening a personal bank account

Good day to everyone
i experienced lately that opening an account here in malaysia it not easy or let say its impossible is anyone else has the same problem ?

I first opened an HSBC account in Malaysia but basically because I had an HSBC Premier account overseas already.  I also managed to open a Maybank account with a little persuasion and once I had the Maybank account I spoke with the manager at the CIMB in Bukit Bintang and opened a CIMB account. Then most recently, due to higher than average interest rates on fixed Deposits, I opened an account with Ambank.

I lived in Malaysia but never worked, but still managed to get a few mortgage loans from HSBC over the years based on being a Premier customer. If you can open a Premier or Privilege or Preferred account with a bank, or show that you want to place fresh funds into fixed deposits, then sometimes it is easier. If you are working here then I don't see that there should be any problems since you will have all the working papers and correct visa.

I don't really see what the problem is for you. Which banks have you tried and why did they turn you down?

Thank you for you respond i actually tried with maybank at many different branch and the problem is the same i live in sabah kota kinabalu after that a friend of mine told me that he opened a personal bank account with public bank so i went there they told me that i can open a bank account but my visa should be valid at least 6 month so im waiting once i renew my visa i will try again , at my bank they told me you only can open a joining account along with your wife ! probably your case is different since you already have a bank account somewhere else

Hi do you have a work permit perhaps? It's easier to open an account once that is provided to the bank. My foreign colleagues did it that way with no hassles.

I have no working permit but im married here with Malaysian i though that's enough to have some rights

Well, perhaps you could show a marriage cert to help convince the bank officer to help you out.  A little persuasion on your part would help greatly. Hope it pans out well for you my friend......

Thank you friend i even took my wife with me .i like Malaysian people but the rules for foreigner not encouraging them to stay here at all its really crazy

Perhaps after you get a new Visa then you can open your bank account. From what I discovered is that once you have one bank account, other banks will often allow you to open one too. But anyway it seems that the main problem is your status in Malaysia. With my MM2H social visa it is enough to open accounts with many banks. I'm not sure what kind of visa you are holding.

But I agree that it's a bit  annoying that you cannot open an account now even though you are married to a Malaysian. I now live in Indonesia and it's the same. We need a special 12 months visa or similar to be able to open any bank account. Being married to an Indonesian is also not enough to be able to open a bank account.

Thats true wait and see til i have my new visa and then i will try with public bank cause the idea of having joining account along with the wife is not good at all we are foreigner we dont have to forget that what if something happen!thats gonna be a serious problem how about you where are you from?

Yup I agree, better have your own account first. Later you can open a joint one, but important is to have your own account. My wife earns her own money and has her own account so I am just paying for the kids, food, bills, etc.

I had a similar experience in trying to open bank account, my wife is also Malaysian and that gives you NO benefit in terms of banking. It wasn't until I had my work permit that I was able to open a bank account, until then we had to do everything through my wife's account.

Thank you , for your respond , so basically you can not open a bank account until you have  a working permit?do they allow you to open persona account or joint account after obtaining your working permit ?

That was my experience, before I got my work permit I was doing some work for the government and they paid me through my wife's account. When I am full-time job they had to cut paper checks until after I was able to open the account.  Even a letter from my employer wasn't enough, along with having a Malaysian spouse. I needed a work permit.

But it was pretty easy once I got the work permit.

Thank you, i hope you enjoy staying in Malaysia

Brother I'm also suffering with the same problem..
If got some info share with me..

After I got approval for my mm2h visa 12 years back, immigration asked me arrange the FD, but the bank wouldn't allow me to open an account n have an FD until I have a mm2h visa !!!
The banks wouldn't even accept the official approval letter from immigration, they just wanted the visa sticker in the passport, many of the banks here have staff who just follow rules blindly, without using common sense

Good day to everyone
i experienced lately that opening an account here in malaysia it not easy or let say its impossible. Can i open a bank account with out having a working permit or visa. Only pasport

Hello Leonard84,

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Cheryl team

You need some sort of a visa. Maybank says a current work pass, others may demand something else like MM2H or LTSVP but I dont know which or where or anything. Try banks other than Maybank for current rules.

Someone in here recently said they opened an account at AmBank with nothing but a passport but didnt tell us which specific branch or any details so I cant pass that on as valid information.

The purpose of the visa is to try to stop scammers and money launderers. Someone working at Petronas is not likely to be a criminal and the bank would have someone to chase more easily, so they say.

I came to Malaysia to retire. It took me a while and several tries before I was able to open an account without my Malaysian wife name on it. I was able to open an account at Maybank. AMBank and all other banks refused to open an account . Reasons ranging from, I have to be employed or a student, my source of income has to be from Malaysia, I have to have my wife name on the account, I have to be a residence ..etc. One thing I found there are several level of approvals and at any level that may end your pursuit:   the bank front desk employee , the employee you talk after that willingness to do the paper work, the floor supervisor has to say yes, the branch supervisor has to say yes and then the bank headquarter has to say yes. If any of those is lazy they can just shut you down and you can not proceed.

One thing for sure you need is to have a visa valid for at least 6 months to be considered. Also, try to look at the bank website as they may have certain accounts that you don't need to be a resident.  In conclusion, foreigners do have a hard time opening an account which can be attributed to bank inconsistent policies, bank employees who are not a ware of the rules or simply because you are a foreigner. One thing positive from my experience, is once you open an account you are set, no follow-ups or anything like that.