How to open a bank account in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading banking jurisdictions. This article is mainly about how to open personal and business bank accounts, how to apply for credit, how to set up a merchant account and how to transfer money to and from Hong Kong.

How to open a bank account in Hong Kong?

The good thing about non-resident banking in Hong Kong is that you can apply for credit. Hong Kong has many fantastic miles-earning cards. If you do not have a  credit file, the bank likely ask you for either a proof of income or to leave a security deposit. This will depend on the bank, that security deposit may be equal to or larger than the credit limit granted. In most cases, returned to you in full once you have established good payment history. While many banks follows their own rules, most of them tend to ask for a deposit equal to around 10% of the minimum salary required for a specific card. For example, if a card has a demand of 150000 HK $ minimum salary, then the deposit asked by the bank is likely to be 15000 HK $.

Preparation and due diligence

Obviously, your first step is to choose a bank type. This step is most important and deserves careful though as it will directly influence the account opening process and the services you will going to access as an account holder. There are lots of banks operating in Hong Kong, maybe more than 150, and only a small fraction will accept non-residents. HSBC, Hang Citibank, Seng, and Standard Chartered are some of those

The banks listed all offer similar accounts and debit cards (Unionpay and Citibank have a debit MasterCard). They all have online banking, mobile banking as well as digital cheque cashing facilities, and foreign currency accounts.

domestic bank: HSBC.
corporate and investment bank: HSBC.
international bank: Citi.
private bank: Credit Suisse.
digital bank: Standard Chartered.
bank for SMEs: Hang Seng Bank.
bank for CSR: Bank of China (Hong Kong)

Opening business accounts

To open a business account, you will first book an appointment with the bank. we recommend calling at least 2 or 3 days in advance so that you get your preferred time slot. During the call, the bank will notify you of their due diligence requirements and the residence or headquarters of their commercial banking center. Simply show up with the requested due diligence documents. The account may be opened on the spot or in the following days (or weeks) this will depend on the bank, . A debit card will usually be issued and in some cases, a two-factor authentication device. Please note that most Hong Kong banks notify a company search fee when opening a business account.

Hong Kong banking is not very dissimilar from banking in most other countries. You can prospect your balance and initiate transfers also at any time using online banking, an app, or over the phone. The debit card you received should work everywhere in the world, simply make sure that the processing machine / ATM has the logo displayed on your card (Visa, Unionpay, or Cirrus). So this is the description of banks and financial services in hong kong.

The cover image is somewhere in Hong Kong. Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash