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Malaysia – Banking

Malaysia has a well-developed banking system, with a mix of local and international banks operating in the country. In this article, we will answer some common questions about banking in Malaysia, including the main local and international banks, their contact details, services for expats, opening hours, areas of concern, and how to open a bank account as an expat.

Local Banks in Malaysia

The main local banks in Malaysia are:

  • Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)
  • CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (CIMB)
  • Public Bank Berhad (Public Bank)
  • RHB Bank Berhad (RHB Bank)
  • Hong Leong Bank Berhad (Hong Leong Bank)
  • International Banks in Malaysia

    There are also several major international banks that operate in Malaysia, including:

  • Citibank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • HSBC Bank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • United Overseas Bank (UOB)
  • Accounts and Services for Expats

    Banks in Malaysia offer a range of accounts and services specifically aimed at expats, including:

    • Foreign currency accounts
    • Non-resident accounts
    • International money transfers
    • Credit cards with rewards programs
    • Mortgage loans for foreigners

    Typical Bank Opening Hours in Malaysia

    Most banks in Malaysia are open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday. Some branches may also be open on Saturdays, usually from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

    Areas of Concern

    As with any country, there are some areas of concern for expats regarding the banking system in Malaysia. These include:


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    • Currency fluctuations: As a foreigner, it is important to keep an eye on currency fluctuations to ensure you are getting the best exchange rate for your money.
    • Fees and charges: Some banks in Malaysia may charge higher fees and charges for certain services compared to others, so it is important to shop around

    Opening a Bank Account

    Here are the steps to follow:

    1. Visit the bank branch of your choice during their opening hours.
    2. Inform the bank staff that you want to open a bank account as an expat.
    3. Provide your personal information, including your name, address, phone number, and email address.
    4. Show the bank staff your passport or ID card.
    5. Provide proof of your address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement.
    6. You may also need to provide proof of your income or employment, such as a work permit, contract, or pay slip.
    7. Choose the type of account you want to open, such as a savings account or a checking account.
    8. Deposit the minimum required amount to open the account, which varies depending on the bank and account type.
    9. Complete any additional paperwork required by the bank.

    Once you have completed all the necessary steps, the bank will process your application and open your account. You will receive your account details, including your account number and any necessary login credentials, which will allow you to access your account online or via mobile banking.

    Opening a bank account in Malaysia as an expat is a straightforward process, as long as you have all the required documents and follow the correct procedures. The main local banks in Malaysia offer a wide range of accounts and services, and there are also options available from major UK and USA banks. It is important to be aware of any fees and charges associated with your account, as well as any specific areas of concern within the Malaysian banking system. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily open a bank account in Malaysia and begin managing your finances.


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