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How to Open a Bank of China Business Account in Hong Kong

Statrys Team
Published: 03 May 2021

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    If you run a business in Hong Kong, you will need a business account.

    Luckily, there are many benefits in opening a bank account in Hong Kong.

    With your Hong Kong business account, you can conveniently transact business with companies in mainland China and other Asian countries.

    If you live outside Hong Kong, you can easily transfer money from your business account to your country for free.

    Opening a business account in Hong Kong is a fairly long process that usually takes up to two weeks.

    There are many documents to be submitted, and they must all be verified.

    The procedures and the documents will depend on the nature and scale of your business.

    Even though each bank has its requirements, they are similar in all banks in Hong Kong.

    This article will describe the requirements for opening a Bank of China business account in Hong Kong.

    How to Open a Bank of China Business Account

    Bank of China Hong Kong is a subsidiary of the Bank of China.

    While both banks still do business together, most of their activities are independent of each other.

    The Bank of China Hong Kong is the second-largest bank in Hong Kong with about 200 branches in the territory.

    The bank provides services to individuals, corporate bodies, and SMEs.

    As is the case with other banks in Hong Kong, you must visit a Bank of China branch before you can open a business account with the bank.

    If your business is a partnership, then all the partners will have to visit the bank.

    On the day of your appointment, you must go with all the documents required for opening an account.

    Required Documents

    For a Sole Proprietorship:

    • A duly filled application form
    • Business registration certificate
    • Government-issued ID
    • Proof of residence
    • HSBC declaration form or IRS W form
    • CRS self-certification form
    • Proof of business
    • Product or service information
    • Latest business audited report or bank statement
    • Proof of source of funds
    • Proof of source of applicant’s source of wealth
    • Notice of participation issued by MPF trustee
    • Relevant employment letter/employee certificate/ license

    For Limited Company or Partnership:

    • A duly filled application form
    • Business registration certificate
    • A signatory list recording the full names, ID type, and number of the account signatories
    • Government-issued ID for all partners
    • Proof of residence of all partners
    • HSBC declaration form or IRS W form
    • CRS self-certification form
    • Proof of business
    • Product or service information
    • Latest business audited report or bank statement
    • Proof of source of funds
    • Proof of source of each of the applicant’s source of wealth
    • Notice of participation issued by MPF trustee
    • Relevant employment letter/employee certificate/ license

    All the documents to be submitted must be copies that are certified to be true by a recognized certified public accountant, lawyer, banker or notary public officer.

    The documents must be in English or Chinese.

    If they are in another language, then the applicant must provide an English translation.

    You can open your account online by uploading documents, but you will still have to take the original documents to a bank branch for verification.

    The account opening application fee is HKD$1,200.00. 

    You may incur other fees such as:

    • Monthly service charges up to HK$200 - HK$450
    • Corporate credit card up to HK$550 per year
    • Depositing or withdrawing in a branch could cost around HK$10 a time
    • Overdraft fees
    • Transfer charges
    • Early closure fees
    • Inactive account fees up to HK$450

    Why Your Application Got Declined

    After submitting the application, you are to wait for the approval of your application.

    This may take between one to two weeks as the bank tries to confirm your document and consider the application.

    However, the application may be declined by the bank.

    There are many things that can cause this.

    One of them is an incomplete document.

    If some of the essential documents needed for the account are missing, the bank may decline the application.

    New laws have made the banks auditing rules stricter, so the due diligence process for reviewing your documents may be longer, and more difficult to reach approval.

    Also, for new businesses, they may be afraid of the risk involved and not want to go through the due diligence process.

    You may be denied a business account if you have not been doing business in Asia before or if the bank considers your business to be at a high risk of liquidation.

    If you do not reside in Hong Kong and are running a business in other countries, the Bank of China may not grant your application.

    American citizens might also not be favorites of the bank. 

    Account Application is Declined?

    If your application is declined, you may ask the bank to reconsider your application.

    Before doing so, you must first identify the cause of the initial rejection and try to fix it.

    If any document was missing from the documents you originally submitted, make sure you have included it for reconsideration.

    If you think the bank rejected you because you are not doing business in Asia, then try to run some transactions in the Asian market before resubmitting your application.

    Investors in Hong Kong are also advised to open an HSBC business account in the UK and run the account for about six months to a year before applying for a Bank of China business account in Hong Kong.

    The reason for this is that the Hong Kong bank will likely trust the UK bank’s evaluation of your business.

    Hence if your business account is approved in the UK, it will likely be approved by the Bank of China in Hong Kong.

    Alternatives to Bank of China Hong Kong

    Believe it or not, there are actually some other options for your business to use when doing business with China and globally.

    In fact, there are alternatives to banking altogether.

    It's no secret that banks are hard to deal with as a small or even SME-sized company, and playing their song and dance has its headaches.

    Open a business account with Statrys today and wean your business off banks.

    Statrys accounts come with a base multicurrency account in 11 major currencies, as well as foreign exchange services that banks rarely offer to small businesses.

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    Statrys Limited is licensed as a Money Service Operator (No. 19-02-02726) in Hong Kong. Statrys UK Limited is a Small Payment Institution (FRM: 911226) registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Statrys UK Limited (FRM: 902805) is a registered agent of PayrNet Limited (FRM:900594), an Electronic Money Institution authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 for the issuing of electronic money. Trade financing services are offered by our partner, Velotrade Management Limited, regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (CE Ref #BJL007)