The Best Banks to Use in Hong Kong [2022]

So you can pay like a pro.

Hong Kong is considered one of the financial centers of the world, with a strong banking system and a business-friendly financial environment.

They are known as the heart of the financial industry worldwide.

Seventy of the top one hundred banks in the world have some form of operation in Hong Kong. Twenty-nine multinational banks have their regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

An Overview of the Banking System in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, there are three types of banks.

  1. Licensed Banks can operate current (checking) and savings accounts, take deposits, and accept paychecks.
  2. Restricted License Banks do business in merchant banking and capital markets and can take deposits greater than HKD 500,000.
  3. Deposit Taking Companies are associated with licensed banks and are involved in consumer finance, commercial lending, and securities. They can take deposits of greater than HKD 100,000 with a maturity of three months or greater.

There are also a large number of foreign banks in Hong Kong.

Here we present some of the best banks in Hong Kong. Note that each bank has its own requirements for bank account opening.

All the banks on our list are licensed banks. Banks in Hong Kong are regulated and supervised to ensure banking stability, which is a factor in the overall financial stability of the country.

In this article, we will also consider alternative solutions to traditional banking, like Statrys. So let's get started.

1. HSBC

HSBC is ranked 2nd on The Asian Banker strength list of Asian Pacific banks, which evaluates banks based on their balance sheet strength.

They most recently reported net income was over HKD 96 billion, they have assets of almost HKD 8 trillion, and they employ over 68,000 people.

HSBC has a comprehensive range of both consumer and commercial services and is a leader in business accounts in Asia.

They were listed as the "Top Corporate and Investment Bank" on the Asiamoney Best Bank Award 2020 list.

Generally, they are the preferred bank of high net-worth clients, although their minimum deposit to open a consumer account is only HKD 1.

They serve over 60 nations worldwide with their global banking services.

HSBC is also often the chosen bank of foreigners because of its global services.

HSBC Fees

Some key fees to consider for HSBC - you can see the complete details online. [1]

Service

HSBC account fee

ATM usage overseas

HK$20 - HK$40 depending on the network of the ATM

Sending a telegraphic transfer

  • Using online banking: HK$50
  • Via branch: HK$120 - HK$240
  • Additional HK$40 fee for branch TT payments requested afternoon on any business day

Receiving a telegraphic transfer

HK$50 - commission of 0.25% may also be payable depending on the currency involved

Including a message in payment details in Chinese characters

HK$150 - waived if currency being sent is CNY

More information

Want to know more about HBSC in Hong Kong? We have you covered with our article explaining how to open an HSBC business account.

2. Hang Seng Bank

Hang Seng is ranked 4th on The Asian Banker strength list of Asian Pacific banks.

Their most recent net income was over HKD 24 billion, they have assets of over HKD 1.5 billion, and they employ over 9,600 people.

Hang Seng Bank has a comprehensive range of services, both domestically and globally.

Customers can open accounts in a range of foreign currencies at Hang Seng.

They have been awarded the "Outstanding Cross-border Banking Service Award" by Wen Wei Po several times, and in 2015 they were named the "World’s strongest bank" by Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

They currently serve over half of the population of Hong Kong.

Hang Seng Bank Fees

Some key fees to consider for Hang Seng Bank. The full details are available online. [2]

Service 

Hang Seng’s account fees

ATM withdrawal & balance enquiry 

HK$20 

Sending  telegraphic transfer

  • Using e-banking: HK$65
  • Via other channels: From HK$190 - HK$260
  • Additional charges may apply including correspondent bank fees and surcharges for branch TTs initiated after 12 noon

Receiving telegraphic transfer

HK$65 - HK$300 depending on the detail of the payment

Other account service charges

If the balance of the account falls below a minimum agreed level, and there is no activity for 2 years, then the bank will apply inactive account service charges 

3. Bank of China (Hong Kong)

Bank of China (Hong Kong) is ranked 1st on The Asian Banker strength list of Asian Pacific banks.

Their last reported net income was over HKD 34 billion, and their total assets are over HKD 3 billion.

They employ over 14,500 people. They are the 2nd largest commercial banking group in Hong Kong and have over 190 branches.

BOC has a full range of commercial and consumer banking services.

In 2017 they were awarded "Bank of the Year in Hong Kong" by The Banker in the UK and received awards for various individual services they offer.

They were named the "Best Bank for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Hong Kong" in Asiamoney's 2020 Best Bank Awards for three years in a row.

Bank of China HK Fees

Some key fees to consider for the Bank Of China (Hong Kong). The complete pricing is available online. [3]

Service

BOC HK Charge

Sending a telegraphic transfer

  • Online: HK$65 + SWIFT charges
  • In branch: HK$210 + SWIFT charges

Receiving a telegraphic transfer

HK$60 for transfers of HK$500 and above - wee waived for smaller transfers

Handling fee for message to beneficiary

  • In branch - up to 10 words or characters is free, HK$100 above that
  • Fee waived for online transfers

SWIFT charges

Vary by currency - for example, there is a fee of HK$160 for any TT send in USD, while transfers to the UK cost GBP20

Enquiry, amendment, return or cancellation request

HK$220

4. Citibank Hong Kong

Citibank Hong Kong is ranked 37th on The Asian Banker strength list of Asian Pacific banks.

Their last reported net income was HKD 3 billion, and they have assets of HKD 224 billion.

They were the first foreign bank to offer services in Hong Kong in 1902, so they have a long history in the region.

They also have a strong global brand, which is one of the reasons they were chosen for our list.

They offer a full range of services for consumers and businesses and have a large presence in the commercial and investment banking arena in Hong Kong.

They are often the chosen bank for ex-pats and non-residents of Hong Kong, and they are one of the largest credit card issuers in the country.

They offer fee-free account packages and also have private banking services.

For two years, Citibank Hong Kong was chosen as the "Best Global Private Bank" at the PWM/The Banker Global Private Banking Awards.

Citibank HK Fees

Some key fees to consider for Citibank (Hong Kong). You can check online for the full pricing. [4]

Service

Citibank HK charges 

Sending a telegraphic transfer

It is only free if you do inter-institution transfers 

Receiving a telegraphic transfer

It is only free if you do inter-institution transfers 

Enquiry, amendment, return or cancellation request

HK$200

5. Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong

Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong is ranked 3rd on The Asian Banker strength list of Asian Pacific banks.

Their last reported net income was HKD 9.7 billion, and they have over HKD 1.1 billion in assets.

It is one of only three banks in the country licensed to issue banknotes.

They were founded in 2004 and do business in over 60 countries.

They offer a comprehensive array of services and are a leader in the digital banking world. They have lower fees for some services to accommodate all consumers. Lastly, they offer remote account openings, which is unusual in the region.

Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong awards include:

  • "International Retail Bank of the Year" by Asian Bank and Financing
  • "Digital Banking Initiative of the Year" by Asian Bank and Financing
  • "Best Digital Bank in Hong Kong" Award by Asiamoney

Standard Chartered Fees

Some key fees to consider for Standard Chartered (Hong Kong). Full pricing is available online. [5]

Service

Standard Chartered HK Charge

International ATM withdrawal

  • No surcharge for UnionPay and JETCO ATM usage
  • Up to 1.95% fee for other ATM networks

Sending a telegraphic transfer

HK$120 - HK$200 + minimum HK$250 for correspondent bank charges

Non-domicile currency transfer

HK$60 - HK$100 depending on the account type, in addition to fees listed above

Odd currency surcharge (including South Korean won, New Taiwan dollar, and other currencies)

HK$200

Chinese character TT coding

HK$150

Amendment, cancellation or refund of telegraphic transfer

HK$250

6. BEA (Bank of East Asia)

Just like any other of the bank accounts mentioned above, BEA provides 11 different currencies for USD accounts, passbook accounts in, and foreign currency deposit accounts.

And within that, it includes time deposits and statement savings accounts.

The available currencies that BEA provides include the Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, New Zealand dollar, British Pound, Renminbi, Swiss Franc, South African Rand, Thai Baht, Singapore Dollar, and US Dollar.

BEA Fees

Here are some fees that you should be aware of before you register for a BEA account. The full pricing is available online. [6]

Service 

BEA HK’s account fee

ATM usage overseas

HK$15 - HK$50 depending on the ATM type

Sending a telegraphic transfer

  • In branch: HK$150 handling fee + HK$100-130 cable charge
  • Online: HK$20 + HK$80 cable charge

Including a message in payment details in Chinese characters

HK$200

Commission in lieu of exchange

  • 0.25% of the remittance amount - minimum HK$100, maximum HK$1,000
  • Waived for remittances in HKD/USD to Mainland China

Handling fee if sender wants to pay correspondent bank charges

Fees vary, applies to transfers using the SWIFT payment network

Virtual Banks—Alternatives for Businesses Owners

Virtual Banks is one of the newest banking fads to arrive in Hong Kong around 2020, with the first licenses being delivered to banks that are fully online, without any retail presence.

Note that most virtual banks in Hong Kong are backed by larger traditional banks. Here's a full list of all major virtual banks in Hong Kong with their background.

Making international payments for your Hong Kong Business? You could save more with Statrys

Opening a business bank account is a smart move, but you might find yourself getting lost in the red tape. Fortunately, there are other solutions like Statrys. We offer a virtual Business Account that is geared toward the needs of small companies.

We’re not actually a bank; we’re an alternative that provides a safe place to keep your money and make local and international payments.

Plus, small businesses can open business accounts faster, with services that larger businesses benefit from like multi-currency accounts in 11 currencies and Foreign Exchange services.

Use this list to narrow down your choice of which bank is likely to meet your needs. And remember to compare the prices of using expert solutions like Statrys when you need currency exchange or make international payments. You may save a lot of money and time!

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