Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Far East and Asia > Malaysia > Retirement and MM2H
Reload this Page >

Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Old Jan 9th 2018, 2:12 am
  #136  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 76
ssoomro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

So I got my first Malaysian Credit Card...since the topic is hot and people are asking advise/comment on the matter. I will share my experience for greater good.. YMMV

I have two bank accounts (CIMB Preferred for my MM2H FD...they gave me pretty good rate and were very quick in approving accounts etc.. read my earlier postings on the subject and a HSBC Premier account, which i use to transfer money from my US accounts etc).

I have Debit cards from both banks.

When i asked the CIMB to give me a card they told me they will require a FD to cover the card .. so put 50k myr in an FD and we will give you a CC.. I didnt like the idea.. to me that beats the objective of a CC.

I talked to my HSBC bank premier accounts relationship manager. She was (or so it felt) a bit reluctant at first. but then agree to let me apply for the new HSBC Travel CC..which has many benefits if you are a frequent traveler (such as free access to lounges etc) .

While HSBC did NOT ask me to setup a FD to cover the CC. They did demand a lot of documentation (3 months pay slips, bank account statements, and called my company to verify job/salary information).

But yesterday I got the text from my RM to tell me the card has been approved, I will be in KL next week so will go pick it up.

Hope the saga will help someone out there. as I said YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

Cheers.
P.S. just found out cant buy duty free booze at Changi if you are coming from Malaysia...broke my heart..in a million tiny pieces..
ssoomro is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2018, 6:06 am
  #137  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 388
eCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Thanks for sharing!

With the FD for the CC it is indeed annoying, but there is no need to put in 50k or so. You can take 10k as a limit and then just pay the CC balance any day if you come close to 10k. The CIMB CC only gives you lounge access in South East Asia.

So the HSBC CC seems to be a good choice, but for me HSBC is the most unattractive bank at all. Not good FD rates, surprising fees, very, very limited branches in Europe and China.

Duty free booze at Changi, I am not excited about the prices there.
eCdD is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2018, 8:05 am
  #138  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 76
ssoomro is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

eCdD..
That is why i have two bank accounts, i have a premier HSBC account in USA and it got me a premier account here in Malaysia .. i can move money in either direction quite quickly and easily.. and the Premier Travel Card seems to have pretty good advantages for someone (like me) who travels a lot.

I have the CIMB account for most of my local (Malaysia) banking needs. and my MM2H FD is with CIMB.. they gave me a good rate for it.
ssoomro is offline  
Old Feb 3rd 2018, 10:14 am
  #139  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 36
Pat in europe is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

I have a question which might have been raised before:
I'm not working in Malaysia and not yet under MM2H. Can I open an account at a local bank? I have contacted a bank in Malaysia and their reply is no.
Anyone has the experience of successfully opening a bank account in a situation like mine?
Pat in europe is offline  
Old Feb 3rd 2018, 11:00 am
  #140  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Location: Kuching, Sarawak
Posts: 441
RedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

I went to about 10 different banks in Sarawak and the answer was a decisive "No" for a regular account.

Even weirder is that I brought along a letter from the Ministry of Tourism saying that I could open a fixed account for MM2H...half the banks said yes.

Then I asked if I could open a regular account once I got approved "NO"...seriously, you'll take my money, stick it away for 5-10 years and you won't let me bank here????

Half of the banks SAID they would allow me to open an account ONCE I had my visa.

My case may be special b/c I'm an American and there are special reporting requirements...though FATCA-like reporting forms (for home country tax scrutiny) and international banking requirements are becoming more and more standardized.
RedApe is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2018, 8:29 am
  #141  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: Penang
Posts: 801
SushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by Pat in europe View Post
I have a question which might have been raised before:
I'm not working in Malaysia and not yet under MM2H. Can I open an account at a local bank? I have contacted a bank in Malaysia and their reply is no.
Anyone has the experience of successfully opening a bank account in a situation like mine?
The bank I tried needed to see the MM2H approval letter before they were willing to open an account for me. I did have the approval letter, but not yet the visa in my passport. This letter enabled me to open a regular bank account, plus the fixed deposit account for the MM2H.
SushiFan is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2018, 9:36 pm
  #142  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 36
Pat in europe is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by RedApe View Post
I went to about 10 different banks in Sarawak and the answer was a decisive "No" for a regular account.

Even weirder is that I brought along a letter from the Ministry of Tourism saying that I could open a fixed account for MM2H...half the banks said yes.

Then I asked if I could open a regular account once I got approved "NO"....
That's ridiculous. How do you settle daily expenses? by withdrawing money from your foreign account?
Pat in europe is offline  
Old Feb 5th 2018, 5:16 am
  #143  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Location: Kuching, Sarawak
Posts: 441
RedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond reputeRedApe has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Currently from ATM's and from cash brought over.

This week (b/c I now have my Long-Term Social Visa) I'll be able to establish an account with one of the banks that allows foreigners with that visa to open accounts (Public Bank, AmBank, etc.)
RedApe is offline  
Old Mar 1st 2018, 8:32 pm
  #144  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 4
qwert is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Hi,

Recently got approved for MM2H, and planning to visit Malaysia in April to complete the 2nd stage of MM2H Visa processing. Very glad to have found this web site, and reading of this topic of opening bank account in KL. After reading through this topic, I have formulated the following plan, and please let me know if there is anything below I need to make changes:

a) I plan to deal with CIMB, and to open with CIMB a MYR saving account, a USD saving account, and a FD of $150,000 MYR. I have heard that with some banks in Malaysia, a pre-approval procedure needs to be carried out first, in order to prepare for the actual opening of account in person at KL? Is this pre-approval needed for CIMB? I am hoping that I may just show up at the branch for the opening of accounts?

b) Which CIMB branch I should visit? Apparently, even with the same bank, some branch chooses to deal with only those with MM2H visa in their passport, and not ones with conditional approval of MM2H. Also, I would prefer to deal with those branches that are familair with the MM2H procedures. Will the branch at Wisma Genting or StarHill Gallery do?

c) I plan to international wire transfer USD funds from my USA bank to the USD account at CIMB. Once USD is received, USD will need to be converted to MYR. Who will be actually doing this foreign currency conversion, the Malaysian government or CIMB? Where can I find the actual exchange rate used for this conversion, so that I may compare it to Google posted rate in real time?

d) Any idea as to the current MM2H FD interest rate paid for a 12 month term at CIMB?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Qwert
qwert is offline  
Old Mar 1st 2018, 11:27 pm
  #145  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,274
Davita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond reputeDavita has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by qwert View Post

c) I plan to international wire transfer USD funds from my USA bank to the USD account at CIMB. Once USD is received, USD will need to be converted to MYR. Who will be actually doing this foreign currency conversion, the Malaysian government or CIMB? Where can I find the actual exchange rate used for this conversion, so that I may compare it to Google posted rate in real time?
I found TransferWise offer a much better 'net' rate of transfer/exchange than most banks.
i.e. if I were to transfer/exchange US$1,000 from an account in USA to an account in Malaysia I would receive MYR3,8881.71 by Monday...net of all fees.
Davita is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2018, 3:37 am
  #146  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 388
eCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
Is this pre-approval needed for CIMB? I am hoping that I may just show up at the branch for the opening of accounts?
You will need your conditional MM2H approval letter all the time. Also later.

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
Will the branch at Wisma Genting or StarHill Gallery do?
Wisma Genting is my favourite CIMB choice in KL.

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
Where can I find the actual exchange rate used for this conversion, so that I may compare it to Google posted rate in real time?
Need to negiotiate. If you are not CIMB preferred, no good. Always bring the 10k per person cash with you when coming to Malaysia and then visit the money changer of your trust. And yes, Transferwise is better than your personal transfer.

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
d) Any idea as to the current MM2H FD interest rate paid for a 12 month term at CIMB?
Around 4,1% I guess.
eCdD is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2018, 4:37 am
  #147  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 151
stepen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by eCdD View Post


Need to negiotiate. If you are not CIMB preferred, no good. Always bring the 10k per person cash with you when coming to Malaysia and then visit the money changer of your trust.
Do you mean 10k USD and exchange cash in Malaysia? Will you get better rates for cash then transferwise?

What rate can you get without cimb preferred status? Is it not possible to negotiate without preferred status ?
stepen is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2018, 4:56 am
  #148  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 388
eCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond reputeeCdD has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by stepen View Post
Do you mean 10k USD and exchange cash in Malaysia? Will you get better rates for cash then transferwise?

What rate can you get without cimb preferred status? Is it not possible to negotiate without preferred status ?
The exchange rates @ banks are abolutely terrible, but there are very competitve moneychangers. Most people have their favourite, mine is giving me 0,5% off the Interbank, while Transferwise is 0,7%. Or better rate if he is in need of Euros and text me a message if I have

All rates are negotiable in Malaysia, with or without preferred status.
eCdD is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2018, 8:39 am
  #149  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Aug 2015
Location: Penang
Posts: 801
SushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond reputeSushiFan has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Congratulations on passing the first stage of the MM2H visa. Do you plan to live in KL after the entire procedure has been completed?

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
a) I plan to deal with CIMB, and to open with CIMB a MYR saving account, a USD saving account, and a FD of $150,000 MYR. I have heard that with some banks in Malaysia, a pre-approval procedure needs to be carried out first, in order to prepare for the actual opening of account in person at KL? Is this pre-approval needed for CIMB? I am hoping that I may just show up at the branch for the opening of accounts?
It has already been mentioned that you need to show the MM2H pre-approval letter if you want to open a bank account.
Besides that have stories appeared on this forum about Americans who faced a lot of additional paperwork hurdles and red tape. It appears that Malaysian banks have become more wary about accepting American customers. It could be that the entire process can not be completed within one day, so it would be wise to have some extra days in your travel schedule available in case things turn out to be more complicated than expected.
SushiFan is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2018, 3:45 pm
  #150  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 4
qwert is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Hi,

Thanks to Davita, eCdD, stepen and Sushifan for providing valuable feedback.

I am actually a Canadian citizen who had been working in US for many years until my recent retirement. Hopefully being also from Commonwealth country, I would not encounter the difficulty from Malaysian banks as US person. I plan to live in KL at least for the first year, until I figure out the more long term location.

I have a few more questions if I may:

1) If I wire transfer USD from US bank to USD account say at CIMB, does it mean that I must convert USD to MYR with CIMB only, and take whatever exchange rate CIMB gives, regardless of whether one is able to negotiate with CIMB to get a rate that is better than what is being offered by Money exchange houses. Is it possible to withdraw USD cash from the USD account at CIMB, and take the US notes to the Money exchange house for conversion if it offers a better rate? If possible, I wonder if the CIMB branch would have on hand $100 USD bills amounting to USD 40k total for withdrawal?

2) On March 2nd, around 9:45 AM Eastern time zone, I did the following experiment comparing USD2MYR exchange rate from several sources:

a) With transferWise, $40k USD converting to MYR:
$300.74 USD fee is charged, leaving 39699.26 USD to be converted at
a guaranteed rate of 3.9035 to give 154966.06 MYR -> or an effective
exchange rate of 3.87415.
b) At around the same time, Yahoo finance quoted a rate of 3.905, which is time delayed by several hours.
c) Whereas Google finance quoted a rate of 3.9267;
d) I also goggle money exchange houses in KL with the best exchange rate:
I picked UAE Exchange which showed online quote of 3.86595 (buy);
also VITAL which showed online quote of 3.8950. No idea whether their
online quotes are time delayed and match their actual rates posted at their
respective physical premise?

From the above numbers, it appears that exchanging USD at VITAL would give the best return, with TransferWise being second best, and a difference of 834 MYR between the two.

Thanks,
Keung
qwert is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.