How to Open a Bank Account in Hong Kong: A Step-by-Step Guide
making a bank account online

How to Open a Bank Account in Hong Kong: A Step-by-Step Guide

Opening a bank account in Hong Kong is easy and can give you lots of financial opportunities. This step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know, no matter if you're a local or new to the area.
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Steps to Open a Bank Account in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a wonderful place for anything, and makes foreigners feel at home there. You have decided that you will not only visit Hong Kong, but will extend your stay, or maybe look for work and launch a business. The next thing you need to do to make things easier for you in Hong Kong is a bank account. You have read the comprehensive guide to open a bank account in Hong Kong, to understand Hong Kong's banking landscape. We will introduce you to several banking options that will help you in your next financial journey in Hong Kong. Understanding the Hong Kong banking system Before going to open a bank account in Hong Kong, there is some basic information you need to know about the Hong Kong banking scene. The banking system is structured into tiers, there are Licensed Banks, Restricted License Banks, and Deposit-taking companies. Licensed Banks : These banks offer the essentials like current and savings accounts, handle any size of deposits, and manage checks drawn and deposited by their clientele. All licensed banks are required to participate in the Hong Kong DPS (Deposit Protection Board) as Scheme members, where licensed banks deposits are safeguarded up to a maximum of HKD 500,000 per deposit per Scheme member. Restricted License Banks : These banks are specialized banking needs, primarily investment and merchant banking like capital markets, and may be restricted from some banking activities. Restricted license banks are not members of the Hong Kong DPS (Deposit Protection Board) and can manage deposits starting at HKD 500,000 and upwards. Deposit-taking Companies : Linked or owned by larger banks, specializing in areas such as commercial lending, consumer finance, and securities. DTCs can handle deposits starting at HKD 100,000 with a minimum three-month maturity term and there are not members of the Hong Kong DPS. Each three tiers operates under the vigilant eye of the HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority) and has its unique offerings. The HKMA ensures that all banking corporations have anti-money laundering regulations. Types of bank account in Hong Kong There are two bank account types to choose from, Personal Bank Accounts for individuals and everyday banking needs, and Corporate bank Accounts for business of commercial accounts, eligible for registered businesses such as offshore companies and limited companies in Hong Kong. Benefits and Challenges Doing Business in Hong Kong Message to business owners, you must understand a clear distinction between personal and business finances, and always open at least one dedicated business account. How to open a bank account in Hong Kong There are several steps you must take to open a bank account in Hong Kong. Choose a Bank Select a reputable bank that suits your specific needs. Research the bank's packages, offerings, fees, terms and conditions. Some banks that are often chosen are DBS Bank, HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, and BOCHK. Gather the documents required The two account types have differences in the required documents. For personal bank accounts, you need to show a Hong Kong Identity Card as a Hong Kong resident and permanent resident, a passport or other identity documents if you are a foreigner, and relevant travel documents. For some documents that require proof of address such as mortgage statements, lease agreements, utility bills, and home insurance, you must have proof of address based on your home country or your Hong Kong address depending on the bank. For corporate bank accounts, you must show company documents such as business registration certificate, articles of association, registered office address, and partnership agreements. Some banks require your company structure's details, such as business plan, beneficial owner identification document, and proof of business activities. Each bank has its own general requirements. You can contact them for specific details and what documents are required. Some banks will make it easier for you to send documents online, and you better ask for better understanding. Pre-approval process Submit the required documents according to the bank you choose, and keep informed about your application progress. Especially for opening a business bank account, you will be asked for additional verification, such as providing proof of business activities and fulfilling KYC requirements. Sometimes you have to need an agency to make it easier to open a corporate account, because the KYC process is difficult and particularly crucial. Bank account activation After everything is done, the final step is Hong Kong bank account activation. Your bank has instructions for you to complete this process. Each bank has a different time to open a bank account, but usually it takes approximately 15 working days. If a bank rejects your account application, you need to ask the bank and clarify the reason for that decision. Some banks have the option to request a re-evaluation. Non-residents can still open a bank account, although the verification process may vary compared to Hong Kong residents. Especially for non-residents and first-timers, you need to come to the bank you choose for in-person identity verification requirements. Non-residents cannot apply remotely for traditional banks, because there are several requirements that require applicants to be present at the bank.   Opening a bank account for individual or business needs is easy, but it will be a little challenging for foreigners or new business people. If you feel overwhelmed by the requirements of each bank or several documents that must be prepared, you can use the services of SMEBrother as your business brother who will help with all your business needs. SME Bro is ready to help you to open a corporate bank account, or for those of you who decide to stay longer in Hong Kong and want to have a bank account. Contact us for your needs, prepare some of the documents needed, and let SME Bro handle everything. All you have to do is receive news that a bank account is ready to be used, no difficulties whatsoever, no mess. Not only for bank account needs, because we can also be your business brother for accounting, auditing, tax handling, SME loans, etc. Whatever you need to thrive your business and run your business smoothly in the future.