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How to Open a Bank Account in Hong Kong [2024 Guide]

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Many banks in Hong Kong offer an online account opening process for residents and HKID holders.

Opening an account with traditional banks can take up to 15 working days, depending on each bank’s approval process. Virtual banks may offer a quicker setup, with some providers opening accounts in as fast as 3-5 days.

To open a bank account, individuals need identification (like a passport or Hong Kong ID) and proof of address. Corporate accounts require more extensive documentation, including incorporation documents, business registration certificates, and details of company structure.

Whether you’re setting up a company or relocating for personal reasons, Hong Kong offers diverse local and international banks to cater to both personal and business banking needs. 

Ranked as the fourth-largest financial centre globally, Hong Kong is definitely an attractive destination for opening a bank account. Coupled with a favourable tax system and its status as a renminbi hub, it is no wonder why Hong Kong is called "a natural first choice" as an Asian base for multinationals.

To help you in setting up in Hong Kong, we have developed this guide to explain the process of opening a bank account in Hong Kong for individuals and businesses, including the different account types, requirements, and fees for each service.

What Documents Do You Need To Open A Bank Account?

The documents you need when opening a bank account will depend on the type of account. We’ll cover the two most common types: personal accounts and business accounts. 

Opening a Personal Account 

Opening a personal account is quite easy in Hong Kong. You can visit your desired bank's website or visit one of the branches and fill out the application form. On their websites and branches, they will have information about their services and offerings, such as interest rates, ATM access, and associated fees.

For personal accounts, most banks will typically require the following documents to open a new account:

Depending on your circumstances and the banking services needed, banks may require additional information in addition to the primary requirements mentioned above. Specifically, this may include proof of income or employment for non-residents or the newly arrived. However, you should be informed regarding its usage and further evaluation by the bank.

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Tip: Still looking for a bank to open an account with? Explore the 7 best Hong Kong banks in 2024. 

Opening a Business Account

Opening a business account is similar to opening a personal current account, except businesses must provide more documents than individuals, mainly for compliance reasons.

Here are some of the documents that you will need to open a business account in Hong Kong: 

Business Registration Certificate

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Certificate of Incorporation

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Article of Association

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Beneficial Owner Identification Documents

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Certificate of Incumbency

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Partnership Agreement

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Other Documents

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Lastly, you must also state your purpose for opening a corporate bank account and the nature of your business activities and operations in Hong Kong.

Once all the documents and information are prepared, submit your documents to the bank representative you are in contact with or submit them online if your business account provider accepts online submissions.

Step 1: Decide Which Bank To Use in Hong Kong

Choose a reputable bank that aligns with your specific needs. Each bank offers different packages for both personal and corporate accounts. Start by researching their offerings, fees, and eligibility requirements.

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Important: Since each bank may have its own policies on the types of entities they accept, we recommend reviewing the information on your eligibility to open an account with the provider before applying.

Here are some popular banks in Hong Kong to consider:

Bank

Key Features

Potential Drawbacks

dbs logo

• Comprehensive personal, SME, and corporate banking solutions

• Quick account activation

Complex eligibility criteria

HSBC logo

• User-friendly mobile banking services through the HSBC mobile app

• Strong global presence

Potentially higher fees

• Customer-focused banking

• Prominent local Hong Kong bank with robust online banking services

Limited global presence

Bank of China logo

• Strong network with Mainland China

• Wealth management and investment services available

Potential language barrios for non-Mandarin speakers

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Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

Step 2: Gather and Submit Required Documents

After choosing where to open your new account, prepare the required documents as instructed by your chosen bank and submit them with your application form.

In some cases, the bank may contact you for additional information or supporting documents during the application review process. 

Step 3: Enter the Onboarding (Pre-approval) Process

After document submission, your bank will notify you of the application’s progress during onboarding.

Step 4: Interview or Meeting

Depending on the bank's protocols, you might be required to undergo an interview or meet with a bank representative for additional verification, such as for KYC obligations and proof of business activities.

Step 5: Wait for Approval

Your bank may request additional documentation during this process.

Step 6: Activate Account

Once approved, the last step is to activate your new Hong Kong bank account, including any internet banking and mobile banking services. Your bank will provide instructions on how to complete this process, which typically involves making an initial deposit.

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Note: While the specific steps may vary depending on your chosen bank, the general process is as outlined above.

Bank Fee & Charges

Opening a bank account in Hong Kong comes with fees, and some banks have an initial deposit and minimum balance requirements. 

Each bank offers different fee structures, and some may or may not charge additional charges for a certain service. Be sure to check with the bank of your choice for these components before setting up an account.

Some of the bank's fees may include:

  • Account set-up fee: Banks typically charge this fee for setting up corporate accounts, which could range from HKD 1,000 to HKD 10,000
  • Initial deposit: Around HKD 10,000 – 50,000, depending on the account type
  • Minimum balance: HKD 50,000 – 500,000. Most banks charge a monthly maintenance fee of around HKD 200 if you cannot meet their minimum requirement.
  • Processing fee: from as low as HKD 200 up to HKD 10,000, depending on the specific transaction type
  • Credit card: Annual fees for credit cards in Hong Kong typically range from HKD 300 or more. For international credit card orders, prices can range from HKD 30,000 to HKD 50,000 (this may vary depending on your bank of choice).
  • Foreign transfer fee: HKD 15 – 120
  • ATM withdrawal fee: HKD 0 – 25
  • Closure fee: Around HKD 200 (when closed within 3 months of opening). Early fee closures may vary.

While the above information can help you approximate the cost of opening a bank account in Hong Kong, it is important to note that fees can vary widely depending on the type of account. We recommend checking directly with your chosen bank for the most accurate information.

How Does the Banking System in Hong Kong Work?

According to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), a corporation must be granted a license to be considered a bank.

The Hong Kong banking system maintains a three-tier system for licensed corporations granted status as deposit-taking institutions. Here is the complete list of banks in Hong Kong today.

The three-tier system consists of the following:

  1. Licensed Banks: This type of bank has no restriction on using the word "bank" and can provide current and savings accounts while maintaining any size of deposits and collecting checks drawn and paid in by customers.
  2. Restricted License Banks: These institutions can take any maturity deposits of HKD 500,000 and above and can engage in merchant banking and capital market activities.
  3. Deposit-taking Companies: These companies are often owned by or associated with banks. They engage in consumer finance, commercial lending, and securities while being able to take any maturity deposits of HKD 100,000 and above within at least three months of the original term of maturity.

The HKMA sets strict anti-money laundering regulations for all banking corporations. Thus, Hong Kong banks must verify all information and conduct due diligence before approving any new individual or business accounts.

Opening a Hong Kong Bank Account Online

While most banks typically require you to be physically present to open an account, there are alternatives and ways to open an account remotely.

Most banks will allow permanent residents with Hong Kong Identity Cards to apply for basic personal accounts through an online mobile account opening process. HKID holders can also benefit from a digital-only banking experience with virtual banks

However, the option for entirely online remote account opening for foreign nationals and businesses may vary depending on the financial institution. In such cases, fintech companies in Hong Kong, like Statrys, may offer a more convenient account opening process. 

Let's learn more about Statrys below.

Alternative Solution: Statrys Business Account

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Statrys is a fintech firm based in Hong Kong that is focused on improving the banking experience for SMEs and entrepreneurs across Asia. Currently, Statrys has over 3,500 SMEs using their services.

Although Statrys is not a traditional bank, it holds a Money Service Operator licence in Hong Kong, and it offers business accounts for businesses incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the BVI.

Notably, Statrys received the "SME Payment Solutions of the Year - Hong Kong" award at the 2023 ABF Retail Banking Awards. Lastly, Statrys also provides additional services such as company incorporation in Hong Kong and Singapore and free invoicing software.

Statrys Services

Multi-Currency Business Account

Hold, receive, and send money in 11 currencies: USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, JPY, CHF, NZD, and CAD.

Local Payments

Send local payments in 12 currencies: AUD, EUR, GBP, IDR, INR, KRW, PHP, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, and VND

Monthly Fee

Free (if 5 or more outgoing transfers are made in the month)

Business Account Opening Requirements

Must be incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, or the BVI.

Customer Support Channels

Website, Live Chat, Email, Phone, WhatsApp, and WeChat

Payment Cards

Physical and virtual Mastercard® 

FX rate and Fee

Competitive exchange rates (interbank rates) with FX fees as low as 0.15%

100% Online Account Opening

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SWIFT Payments & Tracking

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Xero Integration

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Free Invoicing Software

Create, manage, and send invoices efficiently

Company Registration Service

100% online Hong Kong and Singapore company registration.

Trustpilot Score

4.7/5, based on 278 reviews

(Retrieved 15 May 2024)

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

FAQs

How long does it take to open a bank account in Hong Kong?

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Typically, residents can open personal accounts as fast as the same day. However, it might take a few days or up to 15 working days for non-residents. For business accounts, the processing time may extend to 2 to 3 weeks. 

Can I open a bank account in Hong Kong as a non-resident?

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Can I open a bank account without going to the bank?

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What if my bank account opening application is rejected?

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