Hong Kong is a dynamic place to live. It is also among the most robust business hubs in the world to incorporate a company. And if you are looking for a secure and sound financial center to open an offshore bank account, Hong Kong is relatively an option to go.
In this article, we will shed light on 10 FAQs to include everything you need to know about How to open a bank account in Hong Kong for 2020!
1. Opening bank account in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s economy is featured to be “free” and “open”. Entrepreneurs, start-ups and most business persons prefer Hong Kong for its free trade policy, no barrier for international trading, no custom tariffs, favorable taxes and even enterprise-friendly supporting schemes. Hong Kong is a major international financial mecca integrated by its sophisticated network of banks and effectively transparent regulations.
Reputation of banks in Hong Kong are well recognized. Reported by HKMA, Hong Kong has had more than 70 of the largest 100 banks in the world, nearly 30 multinational banks establishing their regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong currently consists of a total of 193 authorized institutions and 42 local representative office of foreign banks. To get more details about its system, please read our blog Understanding Hong Kong Banking System
Having said that, notwithstanding, many expats and non-residents, especially those with newly incorporated companies in Hong Kong often face with some difficulties when they are going to open a bank account here. Such difficulties typically lie in a lack of knowledge about the Hong Kong bank’s due diligence procedure, the in-person appointment, long wait time for the bank’s approval, etc.
To help you know this process better, BBCIncorp Limited has outlined 10 FAQs covering the most concerned issues of Bank Account Opening in Hong Kong for you! It is in hope that you can gain a better understanding and preparation for your Hong Kong account opening in upcoming time. Please read below!
2. Hong Kong bank account opening: 10 FAQs you must read
2.1. Can non-resident open a bank account in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong allows everybody to open a bank account, regardless of Hong Kong resident or non-resident. Note, however, that foreigners opening a bank account in Hong Kong may be subject to more additional requirements for verification/identification purpose, compared to that for a local resident.
2.2. What types of bank account can I open?
There are two common options for opening a bank account in Hong Kong in the perspective of account holder:
- Personal bank account type: Applicable for any individual person who wishes to open a bank account in Hong Kong.
- Corporate bank account type: Applicable for Hong Kong limited companies or overseas companies in Hong Kong.
2.3. How long does it take to open a bank account in Hong Kong?
Each bank may set out certain requirements for non-residents to set up a bank account in Hong Kong. However, the complete account opening process in Hong Kong can normally take up to 15 working days.
2.4. Is Hong Kong companies mandatory to open a Hong Kong corporate bank account?
It should be noted that Hong Kong companies are NOT compulsory to own a corporate bank account in Hong Kong. Instead, they can register a bank account in other countries.
By dint of its good reputation, Hong Kong companies are typically welcomed in most foreign countries, allowing them to easily open a bank account. You can see banking options for Hong Kong companies HERE.
2.5. Can I open a bank account from overseas?
The answer is “Yes”. Overseas customers may have several ways to open bank accounts in Hong Kong. But there is an important requirement for anyone in desire of opening bank account in Hong Kong to take note – that is all applicants (and relevant company directors) wishing to open bank account are required to be present for the application interview in Hong Kong.
Having said that, non-residents can opt for “branch application” as one viable solution to minimize the complexity. They can find the international bank with the foothold in Hong Kong (HSBC for example). By this way, they can visit the bank right in their home country to fulfill all needed paperwork before arriving Hong Kong to complete the final steps for their bank account opening. Do note that only some banks provide this option, and the individual branch has its own policy regarding this matter. So you should better consult your desired bank or a trusted banking introducer to know about this option at your nearest bank’s branch.
Alternatively, applicants are advisable to engage a professional service provider in Hong Kong who will help them to get everything done in advance before they arrive. With no doubt, the local knowledgeable financial advisors will always know the rules for how to open a bank account in Hong Kong in the most effective manner.
Furthermore, setting up virtual bank accounts in Hong Kong is another option. What makes the digital bank accounts, i.e. Neat business account, really stand out for overseas customers is the fact that it allows remote registration for bank account opening. The modern technologies would be effectively utilized in order to streamline the traditional process and everything completely done online.
Wish to get more information about Hong Kong virtual bank account? BBCIncorp Limited is willing to support you, feel free to talk to us!
2.6. What are bank account services available in Hong Kong?
With a well-developed banking system, Hong Kong banks have a set of services with international standing. Note that those services related information are typically characterized in English or Chinese.
Key services involved in nearly any Hong Kong bank:
- Savings and current accounts
- Foreign currency accounts
- Time deposit accounts
- Standing/banker’s order
- Money transfers
- Credit/Debit card
- Currency exchange
- Investment management consulting
- Insurance related services
2.7. What are steps for a bank account opening process in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong bank account opening is demonstrated in the four-step process as below:
- Step 1. Collect required documents
- Step 2. Submit documents
- Step 3. Process on-boarding/ Have a meeting with the bank officer
- Step 4. Activate bank account
Note that requirements for this process may be varied, depending on your bank of choice.
Setting a corporate bank account is a bit more difficult than that for the basic account.
In addition to knowing the KYC obligations, non-resident enterprises are required to attach additional documents like business proof.
Furthermore, all directors, beneficial owners and shareholders with no less than 10% or other pre-specified rates of the company shares [PN1] must attend the interview with the representative of the bank for opening a Hong Kong bank account.
2.8. What documents do I need to submit?
Hong Kong set out strict anti-money laundering regulations. Under the guidance of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and in line with international best practice, all banks in Hong Kong need to check due diligence on both new [PN2] and existing customers to get better understanding about them.
In this regard, some documents that personal and business customers need to prepare to open a bank account in Hong Kong are as the followings:
|Hong Kong bank account opening – Documents required|
Person bank account
Corporate bank account
Account application forms
|Account application forms|
Passport or HK ID card
|Passports of all members|
|Proof of address||Proof of residency of all members|
|Bank statements in the most recent 6 months|
Bank statements in the most recent 6 months
Bank reference letter dated in 3 months
Bank reference letter dated in 3 months
|CV||Company documents – i.e., Business Registration Certificate with CR, Certificate of Incorporation with IRD, Articles of Association, etc.|
Additional documents requested by the bank
|A detailed business plan|
|Proof of business – i.e., contracts, supplier invoices, client payments, website, etc. (applicable for companies already active over 6 months)|
2.9. What types of fee may I be charged/need to prepare in relation with Hong Kong bank accounts?
Below are some kinds of fee and charges associated with Hong Kong bank accounts:
|Types of deposit/charge/fee||Payable amount (for reference only)|
|Initial deposit||HKD 10,000 – 50,000|
HKD 50,000 - 500,000, otherwise charge of HKD 200 on a monthly basis
Up to 10,000 HKD
|Appointment meeting fee||HK 1,200 – 1,350|
|Order of international credit card||HKD 30,000 – 50,000|
|Foreign transfer fee||HKD 115 - 120|
|Early closure fee||HKD 200|
It should be noted that fee requirements may be varied from bank to bank, depending on the applicants’ bank of choice.
2.10. Which bank should I open a bank account in Hong Kong?
Nearly 200 authorized institutions in Hong Kong give both personal and business applicants a variety of choices. Moreover, Hong Kong is deemed as the international financial mecca with the high concentration of most of the world’s largest banks. The key to mention is that applicants should carefully examine their company needs to find out the best suited option for Hong Kong bank account opening.
Below are some of the most recommended banks in Hong Kong for non-residents:
- OCBC Wing Hang
- DBS Hong Kong
- Hang Seng Bank
- Standard Chartered
- Bank of East Asia
Let’s see how BBCIncorp Limited can help you!
What are our banking partners?
|DBS Hong Kong|
|OCBC Wing Hang|
|Neat HK Account|
BBCIncorp Limited Hong Kong has more than 12 years of fruitful relationship with an extensive network of both local and international banks in Hong Kong. Our local knowledgeable financial experts are available to support bank account opening for your Hong Kong companies at any time.
We are proud of being one of the best support teams for the bank account opening in Hong Kong. We serve our customers with “One-time fee for multi-bank support”. If it is the case that you fail to register with your initial bank of choice, BBCIncorp will continuously support customers other viable options in Singapore, the BVI, Belize and other jurisdictions until you reach the bank account opened. Do you want to experience our service? Contact us now!
>> Combo Package: Hong Kong company formation & Bank Account Support
>> Read more: DBS Hong Kong to allow remote bank account opening