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How to open a CDP account: A step-by-step guide

By Beansprout • 24 Jun 2023 • 0 min read

You will need a CDP account to buy a T-bill and SSB, or to own a stock listed on the SGX directly. Follow our comprehensive step-by-step guide to find out how to open a CDP account with ease.

How to open CDP account

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What are CDP accounts?

Central Depository accounts, also known as CDP accounts, are managed by the Singapore Exchange (SGX). You will need a CDP account to directly own stocks listed on the SGX. 

Apart from stocks, you can also hold Treasury bills (T-bills), Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) and corporate bonds listed on the SGX in your CDP account. 

When your stocks are held in a CDP account, you will enjoy shareholder entitlements like receiving AGM invitations and direct notifications about corporate actions such as rights issues.

With a CDP account, you can conveniently consolidate your investments, easily manage your portfolio, and make informed investment decisions.

What do you need before you open a CDP Account?

You can apply for a CDP account if you are 18 years old and above and not an undischarged bankrupt.

Before you begin, make sure that you have the following documents with you:

  • A Singapore Bank Account
  • Photographed/Scanned Copy of Signature 
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)

The additional documents will also be required if you are not a Singapore citizen or a PR:

  • Passport or Malaysian IC
  • Work Pass
  • Any one of the following Secondary Support Documents that is dated within the past 3 months:
  • Bank statement from any local banks;
  • Statement from Central Provident Fund (CPF); or
  • Statement from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

How to apply for a CDP account online using Singpass Myinfo: A step-by-step guide

Step 1 – Select Sign-up Method

You can create a CDP account online through the SGX website

If you are a Singaporean or PR, choose the "Sign up using Myinfo" option.

For non-Singaporeans and non-PRs, select the alternative option "Sign up using the online form, with supporting documents."

Source: CDP


Step 2 – Complete your Personal Details

Once you reach the application page, you will find the first stage labeled as 'Personal Details'.

If you choose to use Singpass Myinfo, the CDP system will automatically populate fields such as your Full Name, IC Number, Email, Mobile, and Residential Address, saving you from the need to enter them manually.

Check through the fields to ensure that everything is accurate. If you prefer to use different details than those provided by Myinfo for this account opening, please make sure to update your information in Myinfo before proceeding.

The process remains unchanged even if you opt for the online form. However, you will need to manually fill out the form instead.

Source: CDP


Step 3 – Enter your bank and tax residence details

Choose the local bank where you have a Singapore bank account.

Then, select your tax residency status.

If you have a tax residency status outside Singapore, provide the following information:

  • Country of Tax Residency
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) 
  • Completed Form-W9 (for US tax residents) or Completed Form W-8BEN (non-US tax residents)

CDP may require additional information or documentation to ascertain your status as a US Person under FATCA regulations.

Source: CDP


Step 4 – Upload relevant documents

Next, you will need to upload the necessary supporting documents as required.

For Singapore citizens who are not US tax residents, only your signature upload is required.

Source: CDP

Otherwise, this is where you will upload your primary and secondary supporting documents. These are the ones that we’ve mentioned earlier!

Source: CDP


Step 5: Review and submit application

Review everything to make sure that all details and documents are correct.

Check and agree to the declaration boxes below before you press ‘submit’.

Once approved, you will receive confirmation and further instructions on accessing and using your newly created CDP account.

Source: CDP

How long does it take for the CDP Account to be set up?

If you applied for a CDP account using Myinfo, it will take about 5 business days to process your application.

If you are using the online form, it'll take around 10 business days. However, it might take longer if additional documents are required.

What do I need before I can start trading?

To begin trading, you'll require a trading Account with a broker as well as a CDP Securities Account.

First, you will need to link your trading account with CDP. Simply complete the account linkage form and submit it to your broker. 

You can also link more than one broker to your CDP account. This will grant you the flexibility of using different trading platforms.

How much do you need to open a CDP account?

Opening a CDP account won't cost you a cent! It's completely free, with no extra charges for account opening or maintenance. 

But remember, when you buy or sell securities, SGX will levy some trading and settlement fees.

Do I need a CDP account to buy Singapore Savings Bonds or T-bills?

If you want to apply for T-Bills or Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB), you will need an individual CDP Securities account. 

No other type of CDP account such as a joint-CDP account is allowed to hold these securities. 

Where can I find out more about opening a CDP account?

You can learn more about a CDP account from the SGX website here.

If you're unsure whether to use a CDP account or a custodian account to buy stocks, we evaluate which account might be better suited for your investment needs. 

This article was first published on 24 June 2023 .

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