Ex-offenders get help to set up bank accounts

SINGAPORE - A new scheme has been launched to help ex-offenders open bank accounts on their release from prison.

Many accounts require a minimum deposit of $500 to open and have a $2 'fall-below fee' which is charged when the minimum sum is not in the account.

This can pose problems for former offenders who may have few savings but need an account to pay their salary into before they can secure a job.

However POSB Bank and Singapore Prison Service (SPS) have teamed up to launch an initiative which lets themstart an account even if they cannot meet the minimum sum required, as long as they present a discharge memo issued by SPS.

They can also have the fall-under fee waived for up to a year from their release date.

Those eligible and interested in applying for the waivers can do so at six POSB branches: Boon Lay, Canberra, Nee Soon South, Potong Pasir, West Coast and Zhenghua.