±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.


Kuala Lumpur - Banking

Click here to go to this city guide's homepage

Expat Focus is pleased to offer the services of a leading foreign exchange provider offering foreign exchange and currency transfers at unbeatable exchange rates and no commission.

For a fast, friendly and free quote at a guaranteed better rate than your bank or other companies' rates CLICK HERE!


There are many banks in Kuala Lumpur to choose from. Local banks with a large presence (and number of branches) are CIMB Bank Berhad, (merged Bumiputra-Commerce Bank and Southern Bank Berhad) and Malayan Banking Berhad(Maybank). RHB bank is a bank based in KL, and specializes in international, commercial and corporate banking. The number of international banks offering consumer services is constantly increasing, but the number of branches and ATMs can be limited to certain areas. For a complete listing of licensed banking institutions in Malaysia, refer to the list provided by the Central Bank of Malaysia ("Bank Negara Malaysia") available at www.bnm.gov.my. There is a useful website on Banking in Malaysia that is maintained by the Central Bank of Malaysia, and provides information on basic information on banking services in Malaysia, and specialized services such as Islamic banking. For clarifications on foreign currency banking, refer to the Central Bank's FAQ at www.bnm.gov.my.

Banking hours are from 10am to 430pm on weekdays. Some banks are open on Saturdays, different banks have different variations to this schedule. Many banks offer online banking as a means to avoid long queues at the banks, and such services are popular with expatriates, especially those who wish to have flexible access to their bank accounts. For example, international bank HSBC may not have a strong physical presence in KL, but their internet banking services are highly recommended by expatriates. Other automated banking services, such as phone banking and PC banking, are available at some bank branches.

Banks in Malaysia offer both savings and current accounts, but each bank may have slightly different requirements to open a bank account. In general, however, to open an account, expatriates (non-residents) must have a valid work permit (valid for at least one year). Foreigners on tourist visas, for example, are not likely to be able to open bank accounts in Malaysia. In most cases, banks will ask for a reference (usually a letter from your employer confirming your employment with that particular company). When opening an account, if you qualify for a premier bank account, do consider applying for it. Premier banking services (usually reserved for bank customers with a minimum deposit) means faster and better service.

The Stock Exchange of Kuala Lumpur is known as Bursa Malaysia. There are two indices: the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index.

Credit Cards are widely used and accepted. Many local banks offer credit facilities.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is low, compared to the level of infrastructure and access to facilities available in other Asian cities.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.