View of DBS buildings from Marina Bay MRT in Singapore

When I was in primary school in Singapore I entered into a Skippy Peanut Butter writing contest and won 800 bucks. Especially for a 12 year old kid this amount was gigantic, so the first thing I did (without my parents telling me to I might add!) was open a bank account to put it in. At the time most Singaporean banks required a minimum deposit of $1000 so I went with a POSB student account.

Now I'm 23 and I still have that account, but am thinking of moving to something else. DBS has long since owned POSB (but curiously kept the brand alive) which was convenient given my dad had a few DBS accounts, but every time I go back to Singapore I'm reminded of why I dislike them.

  1. They closed their Liat Towers branch (the building next to Wheelock Place) meaning if I need to fulfil banking needs or however you’re supposed to phrase that my closest branch is Plaza Singapura which is several MRT stops away and is always packed.

  2. They might be too popular, whenever there’s a series of ATMs there’s almost never anyone queuing for the UOB or OCBC ATMs but the DBS and POSB ones often have as many as 10-15 people, especially in student hotspots along Orchard like Far East Plaza and Plaza Singapura.

  3. On a related note to 2, why is DBS/POSB not part of the Atm5 network which lets you use your card in a different bank’s ATM?

  4. Finally, DBS on occasion supports creepy ultra conservative organisations like Focus On The Family which spread misinformation, fear and prejudice against women and the LGBT community, as I wrote about last year and followed up on here.

So now I'm left wondering which Singapore bank I'll create an account with. I've heard ANZ is buying out RBS in Singapore, perhaps I'll be able to keep my local ANZ account and use that in Singapore too. Nah probably not, there are probably charges for accessing funds in foreign currencies all the time.

Why must dealing with banks be so messy and confusing? Why can't they pink, fuzzy and squishy?