Banks in Singapore have recorded around S$49.76 billion in deposits from residents outside the country, according to data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore – the country’s central bank.
The deposits are made by non-resident Singaporeans, Singaporeans working abroad, and companies that have registered with offices outside Singapore.
According to media reports, overseas deposits in the banks in Singapore have been increasing every month since April 2019. It is noteworthy that, the last time Singapore recorded such numbers in overseas deposits was in February 2016.
The increase in overseas deposit in Singaporean banks comes amid global geopolitical uncertainties, including the anti-government protests in Hong Kong that has been escalating since August.
Last month, JP Morgan also revealed that foreign exchange deposits in Singapore’s banks have also increased substantially. This too is attributed to the political unrest in Hong Kong as investors are pulling their money out of Hong Kong and depositing in growing financial hubs such as Singapore.
According to media reports, around $4 billion has been pulled out of Hong Kong by investors and reinvested in Singapore.
According to Harsh Modi, Executive Director at J.P. Morgan, the bank cannot confirm that there is a constructive shift in approach from investors; however, foreign exchange deposits in Singapore’s banking system have been going up quite sharply in the last few months.
As of October 2019, foreign exchange deposited in Singaporean banks stood at S$15.47 billion – the highest since 1991. Foreign exchange deposits have also seen a significant increase since May and the biggest surge was recorded in the month of July.