Opening Hong Kong Bank Account with Sleek's Partners
8 minute read
So you have incorporated your business and now it's time to open a bank account in Hong Kong...
It might seem easier to deal with later on, and just use your personal account and credit cards for now, but we strongly recommend you to not mix up both accounts. A corporate account is necessary not only for security but for easier, quicker access and control of your funds, balance, and deposit. Mixing the two pots of money will create a lot of complications for tax and audits down the line.
So we have convinced you to be persistent and open a corporate current account. but how do you open an account in Hong Kong? Where should you start? What are the requirements and interest options? How to choose between traditional corporate banks like HSBC, or modern digital branch? Should you open one account or multiple? Let’s get some insight into the procedures and options to do so.
You do not need to be a citizen to apply for an account nor are you required to hold an Employment Visa card. All you need is an identity proof/passport and address proof. However, companies, whether local or overseas, must submit detailed information about their proposed strategy plans and proof, if available, to the branch.
Banks also require information about partners, their country/visa status, owners with a majority stake, whether the company has an actual business in Hong Kong and has any employee or not. Apart from this, a formal interview is mandatory to open a corporate account. The quorum of directors are required to attend the interview.
Types of institutions and what to choose?
When it comes to choosing the suitable option, you might be overwhelmed by the choices, with over 250 licensed banks to choose from in Hong Kong. However, it is important to evaluate your financial needs before making a decision on which branch to choose. Sleek partners with multiple financial partners to ensure that we are covering the needs of companies, such as credit cards, interest rates and ATM services.
Accounts opening process at a glance
Excellent money management facilities, privacy, internet banking, and easy access to trade financing have made Hong Kong a lucrative destination. However, before applying for an account, or credit cards, you should be clear about your exact needs and match the same with the facilities and services that each offers. Simple conditions like ATM Card fees, payments, deposit amount, interest rate and tips can all impact your decision on the branch.
The graph above illustrates the process of opening an account with virtual financial alternatives, such as Neat, and institutional, such as HSBC. As you can see, opening an account in traditional banks tend to take longer with more rigorous requirements, in-person meeting and fees. On the other hand, online alternatives have more user-friendly interfaces and most of the processes can be completed online from any country and in English.
Most banks in Hong Kong require an initial appointment on your part as they would conduct a preliminary review when you make the appointment. This means they may conduct a phone interview with directors or you could be required to share by email the corporate documents with any proof . Some banks or branch, such as Citibank, might require you to meet in person with original copy.
Hong Kong banks
In addition to the preliminary review, you are required to meet the bank, like HSBC, in Hong Kong to sign the relevant application forms, and they may enquire more about the proposed plan and the anticipated transactions in terms of volume and foreign currency.
At this stage, it is not guaranteed that the account can be opened. The bank, such as HSBC, would conduct compliance review and when it’s cleared, you would be informed and you will be required to pay the initial deposit money and any other charges. The time taken to review the balance varies with different banks from two weeks to three months, so as the amount of initial deposit depending on the type of account.
Institutional banking partners
Digital finance partners
Currently with more than 400,000 global customers, WorldFirst is an experienced payment and foreign exchange platform, suitable for individuals and international businesses. Find out more here!
Note: WorldFirst is only for traditional companies with more than 30% of ownership from Hong Kong or Mainland China, or for e-Commerce businesses.
While the opening and document gathering part can be quite tricky, opening an account and credit card can be quite straightforward once you have the correct partner. At Sleek, we are familiar with the different requirements and the proper procedures at banks such as HSBC, to guide you through the process. Get in touch to learn more!