Things to Watch Out for


What fees and charges do you pay?

Each bank will have a pricing guide detailing the fees and charges applicable for the accounts and related services available. A consumer should refer to the guide for more details before opening an account. On early withdrawals from fixed deposits, some banks may pay lower or even no interest. In some cases, the bank may even impose an administrative fee.

Banks often reserve the right to vary amounts charged at any time, subject to giving notice to their customers.

Can a bank change its services or fees and charges?

From time to time, your bank may make changes to the following:

  • Terms and conditions of the product or service being provided
  • Fees and charges
  • Interest rate applicable
  • Continuity of product or service – these may be discontinued
  • Location of premises

The bank will inform you of these changes via one of the following:

  • Account statements
  • Its ATMs
  • Its branches
  • Its website
  • Email or letters
  • Media, e.g. an announcement in the newspapers

Do bank accounts have any risks? 

When you place money in a bank account, there is a risk that the bank is unable to return the money to you when you want it back because of bank failure. Other risks which may arise include theft or fraud.

While Singapore’s banking system remains sound, things can go wrong in today's complex and globalised environment. International experience has shown that banks can fail and depositors can lose their savings even in reputable and well-supervised jurisdictions. Although Singapore has not had a bank failure, there is no guarantee that a bank failure will never occur. In a bank failure, ordinary depositors may suffer the loss of their core savings.

If you place your money in long term fixed deposits, there is also the risk that inflation erodes the value of your money.

What is deposit insurance?

A deposit insurance scheme is in place to protect individuals and non-bank depositors in the event of bank or finance company failure. The Scheme insures Singapore dollar deposits that a depositor maintains in savings, current or fixed deposit accounts with a full bank or finance company, up to S$50,000 in aggregate per insured depositor per Scheme member. Monies held in bank deposits under the CPF Investment Scheme (”CPFIS”) and CPF Minimum Sum Scheme are aggregated and separately insured up to S$50,000.

The Deposit Insurance Scheme also applies to joint accounts. Each joint account holder’s share of the joint account is combined with other insured deposits held in his own name. The aggregate amount of insured deposits is insured up to S$50,000. Each joint account holder is assumed to have an equal share in the joint account, unless the Scheme member has records to show otherwise.

Deposits held in trust and client accounts by non-bank depositors are insured on a per account basis up to $50,000.

For more information, visit the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation website.

How can you protect your account?

Here are some tips for protecting your account:

ATM Card/PIN Cheque Book/Savings Passbook

Always keep your ATM card safe and your PIN secret. To protect your PIN:

  • destroy the original print copy of the PIN
  • do not allow anyone to use your card or PIN
  • never write down the PIN on the ATM card
  • do not use easy-to-remember dates or numbers like your NRIC or birthdates as your PIN
  • change your PIN from time to time

Keep your cheque book and passbook in a safe and secure place when you are not using them.

Is internet banking safe?

Banks are expected to take appropriate measures to ensure that their websites and online facilities are secure.

Read up on phishing and vishing and 2-factor authentication to find out more about how you can make your online banking transactions more secure.

How can you stop telemarketing calls?

Under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), the provisions relating to the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry came into effect on 2 January 2014. Consumers who do not wish to receive calls from telemarketers can register their telephone numbers with the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry maintained with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). For more details, please refer to FAQs For Individuals in the PDPC’s website at http://www.pdpc.gov.sg.

The above information is prepared in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Singapore, Contact Centre Association of Singapore and Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation.