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Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 7:47 am
  #166  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by qwert View Post
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?
My initial thought was that a USD denominated account at CIMB did not allow for cash withdrawals in Malaysia. It certainly cannot be done from ATM machines. However, upon reading the terms&conditions there seems to be a possibility:
https://www.cimbbank.com.my/en/perso...t-account.html
from the PDF document which is available on that page:
3.2 Withdrawal in foreign currency notes and coins are not allowed except at the Bank‟s designated branches.
I don't know which branches would be able to give you cash USD though, let alone 40 k USD.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 8:28 am
  #167  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

When I gave up my MM2H I was not allowed to transfer my MYR fixed deposit. I had to forex using the bank's lousy rate to another currency.
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 3:34 pm
  #168  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by Davita View Post
When I gave up my MM2H I was not allowed to transfer my MYR fixed deposit. I had to forex using the bank's lousy rate to another currency.
You could not take out the cash from your account when closing it?
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Hi,

Very interesting discussion.

I am still not able to decide on the best way to bring USD funds into Malaysia in order to place a FD of $150k MYR to meet MM2H requirements. By best, I mean to get most number of $ in MYR, balanced against time, safety and convenience, with most MYR to be more weighted than the other criteria, since this is a one-time thing.

1) I like to hear about how past MM2Her's bring money into Malaysia for their placement of FD? What are the lessons learned, good or bad?

2) Can someone post examples of current exchange rate as posted in Money exchange shops in KL recently, along with date & time when those rates are posted, and the name of the shop? I only have acess to on-line quotes, and is not sure how accurately they reflect the actual on the ground rates of those shops?

3) General consensus appears to be that exchange rate offered by bank (say CIMB) is lousy, but that they are also negotiable. Can someone post past exchange rates actually achieved by CIMB or any other banks, based on personnal experiences, preferably from the position of preferred customer status, and preferably recently?

4) Whether one can withdraw USD cash from USD account in Malaysian bank is an open question? What is the point of keeping a USD account if one cannot withdraw USD cash from it? I will try to contact CIMB to find out the actual facts on the ground. I know that both Citibank Hong Kong And HSBC Hong Kong allow withdrawal of USD cash from their USD account, and no fee is charged.

Thanks,
Qwert
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Old Mar 3rd 2018, 5:11 pm
  #170  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Short of carrying in US$40K in currency, I think one is going to have to do some sort of bank-to-bank transfer. Whether you do that via a domestic exchange like Transferwise or through the banks is I think the realistic issue.

One other possibility, and it's out there. There's a branch of Scotiabank in KL- they do engage in Foreign Currency Exchange, and the fees seem quite reasonable. But perhaps there would be a way to have an account set up in Canada and then transferred to the Scotiabank (they have offices in JB and Penang, too). It says they do Saving and Checking accounts too. They handle Fixed Deposits though the rates are under what have been floating about currently. Maybe you could negotiate upward because of the longer term and higher amount. The Bank of Nova Scotia Berhad, Menara Boustead, 69 Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

They can be contacted by telephone: (60-3) 2141-0766 http://www.scotiabank.com.my/

Here are their fees...but are their exchange rates competitive. Would the bank negotiate a better rate or reduced fee given the amount of the transfer?

https://scotiabank.com.my/scotiabank...=main&nowhat=6
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 12:22 am
  #171  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by eCdD View Post
You could not take out the cash from your account when closing it?
I'm sure that was an option but carrying over MYR200,000 in cash from the KL HSBC downtown branch wasn't something I contemplated and, in hindsight, I'm glad I didn't.
The banks's location looks like a seedy side of KL and we still had our bags as we'd arrived directly from the airport to Putrajaya and then to the bank.
After closing the account and transferring the money we tried for a taxi but they were scarce, then one driver stopped. He wouldn't even open the trunk to put our bags in and kept yelling at my wife to open herself. I dismissed him and he was furious because I'd then hailed a luxury cab which had big sliding doors.
We went to a hotel near the Petronas towers where we'd been before and it was full. So we then decided to go back to the airport and fly back to Bali.
I was relieved I didn't need to explain a bag full of MYR to Indonesian customs.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 1:54 am
  #172  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by Davita View Post
So what is that buffer...a bitcoin you bought for US$20,000 and now trying to sell for US$11,500?

Come on stepen lets face it.....your bitcoin idea to do forex is ridiculous unless you're money-laundering.
I don't see why money-laundering is relevant to this?

If you don't have or want to have any bitcoin then then you would have to buy bitcoin, transfer and sell the one you bought, and rates could go up or down during this time. Still in that case I wouldn't call it ridiculous, if the average BTC sell price in Malaysia is higher than the average buy price in USD, EUR. I personally have some BTC from a long time ago, so I could use this to be able to buy and sell at roughly the same time, potentially getting a rate 0,5-1% above the interbank rate.
I will update on how it goes if I decide to try. Just need to check on the Malaysian BTC exchanges first.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 2:46 am
  #173  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by stepen View Post
I don't see why money-laundering is relevant to this?

If you don't have or want to have any bitcoin then then you would have to buy bitcoin, transfer and sell the one you bought, and rates could go up or down during this time. Still in that case I wouldn't call it ridiculous, if the average BTC sell price in Malaysia is higher than the average buy price in USD, EUR. I personally have some BTC from a long time ago, so I could use this to be able to buy and sell at roughly the same time, potentially getting a rate 0,5-1% above the interbank rate.
I will update on how it goes if I decide to try. Just need to check on the Malaysian BTC exchanges first.
It's relevant in that Bitcoins have been used to money-launder for a few years as the process isn't traceable whereas forex currencies are.

I get your desire to show how your bitcoin works but I don't get why anyone would bother to use it to do forex when 1. It's risky and 2. It's cumbersome.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 3:27 am
  #174  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

While I was at CIMB filling out my MM2H paper work, a Japanese couple was also filling out paper work. I caught at the corner of my eye the couple passing a bag of money (or maybe lunch) to the bank clerk, the clerk then headed up stairs. After the Japanese couple had left, I asked my if it was common for some people to bring cash when making the Fixed Deposit. The clerk confirmed that it wasn't uncommon for Japanese to bring a cash deposit (many JN's keep a good chunk of cash at home).
In the past I've bought over a few thousand $$$ (under $10,000). What's stopping you from bring over 40g's. As long as you properly declare it, including documentation for WHY, I would think it then depends on your nerves walking around with a bag full of money...
I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but the current exchange rate for the day you transfer also should be something to think about. For instance, the dollar (or price of oil) took a .63% hit on Friday. That's a pretty big bite when you are exchanging amounts with many zero's.
Will the dollar make gains once the US FED raises rates in March along with Strong guidance ??? It might not hurt as much if you wait until the dollar firms up.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 3:31 am
  #175  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

1) I like to hear about how past MM2Her's bring money into Malaysia for their placement of FD? What are the lessons learned, good or bad?
---> Cash is king, Moneychangers are fine, Transferwise is great, all things involved banks cost you a lot of money. I have no mood to discuss all this things, just believe me


2) Can someone post examples of current exchange rate as posted in Money exchange shops in KL recently, along with date & time when those rates are posted, and the name of the shop?
---> You have to do your own research along Jalan Bukit Bintang and @ Midvalley Mall. Large amount give you a better rate. I never care about the published rates on the internet.

3) General consensus appears to be that exchange rate offered by bank (say CIMB) is lousy, but that they are also negotiable. Can someone post past exchange rates actually achieved by CIMB or any other banks, based on personnal experiences, preferably from the position of preferred customer status, and preferably recently?
---> This "better" exchange is only for non-cash transfers from your USD/EUR/SGD account to your MYR account. Just forget about this if you don´t want to do dual currency trading.


4) Whether one can withdraw USD cash from USD account in Malaysian bank is an open question? What is the point of keeping a USD account if one cannot withdraw USD cash from it?
---> This is not open question to me, I researched this alot and no bank will allow you to bring in or out foreign currency in cash. Also all my Malay friends told me that only a few banks in Singapore allow this. These foreign currency accounts are mainly used for Dual Currency Investments where you gamble on MYR movement up or down.


@Davita, thanks for clarification. So after cancelling your MM2H you had to cancel all your bank accounts immediately? That is good to know, so everybody should plan the finishing well in advance, so that at least you stand here only with the remaining 150k from the FD. Friends of mine were here on a work visa and years later they still have their CIMB accounts.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 3:49 am
  #176  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

My God - how complicated can you make this?

What I did when I came to Malaysia was to bring EUR 5K in cash. I went into HSBC to open an account and they brought a money changer into the branch to exchange my EUR for RM - the rate was pretty good.

I walked out of the branch about an hour later with a EUR, GBP and RM account, a debit card, a DigiPass for internet banking and a temporary cheque book.

The next day I transferred in the EUR for my FD. The bank converted this from EUR to RM at a very good rate. I think it was 5 pips from memory.

How much are you going to save with all this mucking about and how much stress will it give you? Keep It Simple Stupid.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 3:49 am
  #177  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by eCdD View Post
1)
@Davita, thanks for clarification. So after cancelling your MM2H you had to cancel all your bank accounts immediately? That is good to know, so everybody should plan the finishing well in advance, so that at least you stand here only with the remaining 150k from the FD. Friends of mine were here on a work visa and years later they still have their CIMB accounts.
No! no! eCdD.... it wasn't even a requirement. I could have easily just removed the MM2H lien on the FD and made any other arrangement with the bank for myself and maintained the account to this day. To be honest I felt the bank was reluctant to lose me as a client.

The interest then on Indonesian Rp (IDR) was 8% and, as I now lived in Bali, I bought IDR from the MYR and made Jakarta's HSBC the bank to maintain my Global Premium status. Previously the MM2H MYR 150,000 FD + MYR 50,000 was my HSBC FD to have that status.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 10:46 am
  #178  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Ah, OK, sounds good. I don´t know if Malaysia in the far future will be our 1st, 2nd or 3rd home, but I don´t think we cut our ties here completely. So I guess or hope I will keep at least the CIMB account until I pass away.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 11:56 am
  #179  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
My God - how complicated can you make this?

...

How much are you going to save with all this mucking about and how much stress will it give you? Keep It Simple Stupid.
My thoughts exactly.
I did a bank transfer and considered the losses due to exchange rate as one of the costs to get myself moved to Penang. Not a big deal, in the larger scheme of things. Getting MM2H, moving to Penang, agency costs, etc, were all more than the total sum involved in this money exchange.
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Old Mar 4th 2018, 12:18 pm
  #180  
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Default Re: Opening a Bank Account in Kuala Lumpur

Originally Posted by SushiFan View Post
Getting MM2H, moving to Penang, agency costs, etc, were all more than the total sum involved in this money exchange.
I'm also pondering how advantageous trying to get a few points more on a beneficial exchange rate will be for a FIXED account anyways. You need to establish the fixed account fairly quickly to get your MM2H and the rate is largely subject to the vicissitudes of factors you have no control over. You can't really control the timing (which might be possible with other exchanges).

And the bulk of it will just be parked there until you depart or use it to purchase property, need it for health care, etc. You could leave it all in place, if you wished. Just as critical is what the rate will be when you leave...and who KNOWS what that exchange rate will be.

The major factor you can negotiate is the interest rate.

But you are right. I'm reminded of the backpackers who keep a little book and compare all the prices in the market looking for the cheapest rate for rambutan, but then go out and drink several buckets of Tiger in the evening bragging about how they out-bargained someone in the pasar.

Last edited by RedApe; Mar 4th 2018 at 12:25 pm.
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