Few banks can facilitate business accounts better than Citibank.
Citibank is a great choice for those looking to start a business or expand their business to Hong Kong as a well-established bank with a wide range of options for their customers.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about opening a Citibank business account in Hong Kong.
1. Gather the Required Documents
The first step for opening your Hong Kong business account is to get all of the required documentation together.
First is your proof of identity.
To start any kind of bank account, you need to provide proof of identity.
The accepted forms of identity include your Hong Kong ID and Hong Kong Passport.
Next, you need to provide the bank with a valid business address.
This proves that your business is registered with the Hong Kong authorities and provides the bank with an address for mailing purposes.
Lastly, you’ll need to provide the bank with all of your business documents.
Any government-issued documents that prove the legitimacy of your business.
These documents include certificates of incorporation, M&A documents, and so on.
2. Visit Your Local Citi Branch
Unlike opening a personal bank account, the process for opening business accounts is more involved.
For most of the account opening process, you must attend the bank branch for in-person meetings and consultation.
Notably, this is far behind the curve as competitors to Citi like Standard Chartered and HSBC are both opting for online-only avenues for account opening.
So if you're outside Hong Kong but need that Citibank account, you might need to book a flight.
Alternatively, you could always use a digital alternative to banking if your business wants to make payments smarter.
Options like Statrys are becoming more popular among small businesses who can't get in with a traditional bank.
Some Citi branches may offer a video conference alternative due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to open an account without speaking to a Citibank representative.
It's also not clear whether or not this video conference option will continue after the pandemic.
3. Set Up Your Account
Once your application is complete, it’s time to finalize the process by setting up your bank account.
Citibank offers a wide variety of financial services.
From here, the representative will show you what services you qualify for.
You have a few different options when it comes to the type of account you want to open.
To officially open your account, you’ll need to make an initial deposit.
The minimum amount required varies depending on the type of account you open, which we’ll discuss later.
Once your deposit goes through, your business will officially have a Citibank account in Hong Kong.
Citibank Account Types
Now that you’re familiar with the process of opening a Citibank business account in Hong Kong, it’s time to take a look at the different account options available.
CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account
This type of account is designed for smaller businesses that facilitate up to 250 monetary transactions per year.
With this account type, you’ll get a standard debit card and be able to withdraw cash from any Citibank ATMs in Hong Kong.
Additionally, users of the CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account gain FDIC insurance.
Here are the criteria for opening this type of account:
- Included Monthly Transactions: 250
- Monthly Currency Deposits: $5,000-$10,000 (38,834.2-77,668.39 HKD)
- Minimum Monthly Balance (maintained to waive monthly maintenance fee): $5,000 (38,834.20 HKD)
- Monthly Maintenance Fee: $15 (116.51 HKD)
This account type is perfect for startups and smaller businesses that need to save some money and don’t require the high volume capabilities of other accounts.
CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account
The next account type is meant for larger businesses that sustain higher turnover volume.
While the minimum balance is higher than the Streamlined account, the Flexible account is a better option for larger businesses.
Here are some of the qualification required to open one of these accounts for your business:
- Included monthly transactions: 500
- Monthly Currency Deposits: $20,000 (155,347 HKD)
- Minimum Monthly Balance: $10,000 (77,673.50 HKD)
- Monthly Maintenance Fee: $25 (194.18 HKD)
If you’re at the helm of a larger enterprise that facilitates up to 500 transactions per month, this account model is ideal for your business.
These are the two main types of CitiBank business accounts for Hong Kong, but a few more options are available if these don’t suit your business needs.
If you want to learn more about CitiBank account types, take a look at this guide from Citi.
Recent Changes to Citibank
Opening a Citibank account is a good choice for your Hong Kong-based company if it's a very localized business you're engaging in.
However, recently Citibank has announced it will scale back its retail presence in Asia massively.
Citibank is not necessarily leaving Asia, but it will significantly reduce its physical presence.
Does this signal the company is looking for a more digital approach to the market?
Or trouble for the bank?
If the uncertainty is not something you want to deal with but you still need a dependable way to do business in Asia, consider going with a digital business account.
At Statrys you'll get access to a multi-currency business account in Hong Kong in under 48 hours.