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Old Jul 14th 2017, 8:54 am   #1
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Default Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Hi everyone I now have my approval for MM2H ...very happy. Have any of you got any recommendations for where to place FD and generally a good bank. I will be living in KL. Many thanks.
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Old Jul 14th 2017, 10:08 am   #2
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

CIMB, the Branch in Bukit Bintang @Wisma Genting. But maybe even more important is a good relationship with a money changer

Don´t accept any offer unter 4% for the FD. So first bring in the money, then gain preferred status and then do the FD.
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Old Jul 15th 2017, 8:24 am   #3
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

To add to eCdD's advice: you gain "preferred customer" status at CIMB if you bring at least RM250 k.
Disclaimer: I use CIMB and am pretty satisfied with them.
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 2:25 pm   #4
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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Originally Posted by nowoolymitts View Post
Hi everyone I now have my approval for MM2H ...very happy. Have any of you got any recommendations for where to place FD and generally a good bank. I will be living in KL. Many thanks.
I was a HSBC customer in the UK and utilised them in Penang. To be a premier customer in Malaysia you need 200k compared to GBP60k in the UK so eligibility is easier. I find the benefit of HSBC is that you can instantly transfer funds between countries and within Malaysia can set up multi currency accounts (Rinngit, USD, GBP etc). If this type of functionality is of benefit then have a look at them. Downside is less branches and ATMs. Comes down to what you want from your accounts.
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 3:44 pm   #5
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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I was a HSBC customer in the UK and utilised them in Penang. To be a premier customer in Malaysia you need 200k compared to GBP60k in the UK so eligibility is easier. I find the benefit of HSBC is that you can instantly transfer funds between countries and within Malaysia can set up multi currency accounts (Rinngit, USD, GBP etc). If this type of functionality is of benefit then have a look at them. Downside is less branches and ATMs. Comes down to what you want from your accounts.
Thanks for all your replies. Have descided to go with CIMB after a bit of research.
Can't seem to find online the rate given re the Fixed Depoist....but it doesn't matter as if on the day of opening the rate is rubbish I will just go to another bank!
The reviews re online banking and general service were positive so at the moment will go with CIMB.

Will not choose HSBC as I had some problem with them years ago....can't even remember what! So can't go with them!!

PLanning to go to KL mid August to sort out bank and paperwork. Can't wait.!!
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 5:14 pm   #6
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

As with everything in MY, interest rates are negotiable, especially if you deposit enough to become a preferred customer with CIMB.
For 'fresh money' they are now offering 4.15% plus some gift.

One advantage with CIMB is that you as a preferred customer get an airport lounge pass, valid in many airports in SE Asia.
https://cimbpreferred.com/index.php?ch=my_en_lifestyle

Note that you will need a joint account if there is two of you wanting this benefit.
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Old Jul 18th 2017, 1:58 pm   #7
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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For 'fresh money' they are now offering 4.15% plus some gift.
Aha, two weeks before I got only 4.10 and no gift

The "real" rates are usually not published online, only the board rates and some promotions, nowoolymitts.
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Old Jul 19th 2017, 2:14 am   #8
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

average bank annual interest is around 3.2%
4% only upon special request and promotion.
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Old Jul 20th 2017, 3:38 am   #9
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Can you get >4% interest on the mm2h fixed deposit? I was under impression that the banks offer lower interest for mm2h deposit.?
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Old Jul 20th 2017, 6:11 am   #10
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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Can you get >4% interest on the mm2h fixed deposit? I was under impression that the banks offer lower interest for mm2h deposit.?
Very limited banks refuse to give MM2Hs the good rates for the FD. I heard of HSBC and Hong Leong Bank. But maybe only some branches. Just tell them at the beginning that if the interest rate starts not with a "4" there is no need to continue talking. With 300k you lose a hell of money even in one year if you accept a shitty rate.
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Old Jul 20th 2017, 7:06 am   #11
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

You may also consider going for a 5 year term as they otherwise may give you a lower rate after the first year! (You are not allowed to change bank so there is no bargaining power)
Also, divide the amount. I mean make it two FD's with one being the portion you are allowed to withdraw for approved expenses.
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 1:25 am   #12
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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Thanks for all your replies. Have descided to go with CIMB after a bit of research.
Can't seem to find online the rate given re the Fixed Depoist....but it doesn't matter as if on the day of opening the rate is rubbish I will just go to another bank!
The reviews re online banking and general service were positive so at the moment will go with CIMB.

Will not choose HSBC as I had some problem with them years ago....can't even remember what! So can't go with them!!

PLanning to go to KL mid August to sort out bank and paperwork. Can't wait.!!
Just so you are aware you cannot change banks once the FD is setup .... that's a 10 year lock in, so up front research on rates, service etc needs to be done as you cannot change banks if you get a poor rate.
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 2:40 am   #13
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Are the rates terms different for 5 years vs 1 year?
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 5:44 am   #14
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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Are the rates terms different for 5 years vs 1 year?
Sometimes, depends a lot on the bank. Usually they don´t like very long terms. All must be negoiated with your your relationship manager. Except some promotions you can do online.
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 9:12 am   #15
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Nowoolymitts...first congrats buddy.. your approval was long time coming.. I remember when I was fretting over mine after 4 months.. you had been waiting since Nov 2016.

Well, I am in Malaysia to finalize the MM2H stage 2 and get the visa stamp.. I have spend this whole week going through the tragio-comic adventure of setting up the bank account/FD etc etc.. Hopefully i can provide some notes from the field for you.

i intend to post a NEW THREAD providing detailed information on the banking setup, especially the wild goose chase I had to go through being a US citizen.. it will hopefully help some poor soul down the road. Of course my banking adventure was made more delicious thanks to post 9/11 money movement regulation by USA. So some (and I really hope most.. wont apply to you and non-US MM2H applicants).. so here we go..

I arrived last saturday with two weeks off work ..hope to sort the banking stuff in one week, get my visa and go to Bali for some r&r before returning back to US..

Before arriving, i sent a detailed letter to CIMB bank customer service, explaining the purpose of my visit and asking how to expedite the process. They provided the requirements of account creation and the list of banks open on Saturdays.

First disappointment, banks are NOT allowed to open accounts for foreigners on Sat (that is the answer I got).. so I laid back and chugged beer for a couple of days. HSBC does NOT open on weekends.

I am a premium account holder of HSBC in USA, i opened that account after RTFM here and hoping that will give me some preferred attention and make money transfer etc easy for me.

On Monday I went to both HSBC and CIMB branches .. to learn that USA residents cannot get an account instantly, my identity etc information has to be submitted to the "Central office" for approval.. and it may take a week.. of course i threw a fit and after I got off the floor they promise to help me expedite the process by making "some calls".

To make the story short...CIMB bank ladies were exceptionally friendly, not always very knowledgeable about the MM2H requirements, HSBC ones were neither friendly, nor knowledgeable... to make matters worse. They provided me with wrong information.

By Wed CIMB called me in for the account creation, all set and done, found out there is no quick way to get my money here, setup a wire transfer through my bank in USA (BoA) which informed me that my money will arrive in 10 (friggin) business days..


Back to HSBC.. they finally got approval for my account and setup a premium account for me... after some complicated procedure setting up online banking with old fashioned hardware token device etc. I was advised it will be 48 hours before my accounts will be linked and i can actually do a global transfer from my USA account....this was Thursday..

well myself being computer dude.. i did not buy that .. that evening I login to my account and found that my accounts were linked.. and proceeded to do a transfer from US $ to MYR.. and was presented with an error suggesting the two currencies cannot be exchanged.. Hmm... so I called the customer service.. they informed me.. that US $ cannot be converted into MYR directly through much touted global transfer process. I have one of the three options... 1: do a wire transfer, wait and pay fees. 2: setup a US $ account in Malaysia HSBC and transfer money to that and than do a local move to MYR.. 3: do a transfer to a third currency (e-g; GBP) and then transfer GBP to MYR.. i was like really .. really

called my RM at HSBC ...she said that is not true.. went into office the next day ( Friday now (which is Today )... she was still insistent..called Malaysia Premium customer service.. they confirmed US $ cannot be transferred to MYR... so need a US $ account in HSBC Malaysia.. woohoo... it will take another 3-5 days.. time to throw another tantrum .....call the manager.. manager' manager blah blah... they decided to expedite creation of the US $ account and will call me as soon as its done..

Back at the hotel, i decided to be curious .. and pull up my CIMB bank app...lo and behold my money transfer from day before has already credited.. called the bank lady and she said come on over...got there post haste.. got the FDs and MM2H letter done..in about an hour or so.. called Joy-stay and hoping to to Putra Jaya (immigration office) on Monday..

More anti-HSBC propaganda.. HSBC offered to give me 2.9% on FD.. CIMB gave me 4% without asking .. i was not even aware i could have gotten 4.15% ... but i was frustrated enuff to take 2.9% to save time etc.. wish i had presence of mind and knowledge of the rates.. but I think the ladies at CIMB were nice enuff not to shaft me .....too much

did not get any gifts/lounge passes etc.. will inquire about them on monday..

about 1/2 hour (its 5PM now) back got text from HSBC RM that my $ account is done and i should go ahead add to global view and do the transfer as needed...Anyone want to bet what I am going to do?

So hopefully this is useful to you.. I see CIMB bank branches and ATM everywhere here.. and I think it is a very good pick for retail banking at least here in KL.. where I myself intend to camp out for a yr or so.

Couple of important notes. Make sure you get the ORIGINAL of FD deposit and TWO copies and same for the MM2H letter from the bank.. whichever one you go with.

if you have any additional questions etc. Plz feel free to ask. Happy banking to you TOO !!
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