Standard Chartered Group is a leading international banking institution headquartered in London, England, with an extensive global network of over 1,750 branches in more than 70 countries in the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Americas.
Since 1859, Standard Chartered Bank has been operating in Hong Kong. They are one of three commercial banks, together with HSBC and Bank of China (Hong Kong), authorized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to issue banknotes in Hong Kong.
Standard Chartered Bank's purpose is driving commerce and prosperity through their diversity, deep expertise, and innovative vision.
They provide services in trade finance, cash management, lending, securities services, foreign exchange, debt capital markets, and corporate finance.
Why Open a Standard Chartered Business Account?
Standard Chartered provides a complete suite of business accounts, payments, and collection solutions to help manage cash flow efficiently and meet all banking needs.
They fund your growth, providing support at each stage of your business development with either a Business Installment Loan, a Fixed Asset Loan, or a Business and Working Capital Loan.
Standard Chartered maintains risk-management, supporting expansion across borders.
They offer help such as a Relationship Manager, Dedicated Client Care Centre, and expert advice, supporting all your business needs whenever needed.
Why Open a Business Account?
Opening a business account is smart to do as it will separate your business’ spending activity from your personal spending activity.
Opening a business account will also improve your outward image, specifically when it comes to writing a check, like writing checks from a business account shows you are much more established than writing a personal check.
Once you have opened a business account, it will be easy to differentiate between business expenses and personal expenses when the time comes to do your taxes.
With a business account, you are able to accept payments from credit cards, this will widen your customer pool and sales.
It is also necessary to open a business account when you want to enter into a partnership or incorporate your business.
It is simply safer and easier to run your company through business banking. To go further, here we list 6 reasons why you shouldn't use Personal Accounts for Business.
Opening a Standard Chartered Business Account in Hong Kong
A combination of compliance rules, with increased risks and costs for the bank, has caused banks in Hong Kong, as well as around the world, to be very stringent when it comes to opening international accounts.
Hong Kong is a financial hub, so most business accounts are multi-currency which is good for companies that receive and make payments in different currencies.
Once you’ve decided to open a business account in Hong Kong, these are the next necessary steps.
You start by filling out the bank account opening form provided by the bank.
Here is a link to Standard Chartered’s account opening form for Hong Kong—an extensive form.
This form, along with other necessary resources, can be found on their website as well.
In addition, you must gather all documents that are needed by the bank; they will inform you of what exactly is needed but some possible documents needed will be:
- A resolution by the board of directors. This is a way of documenting a decision made by a corporation's board of directors or shareholders.
- All documents proving your company was correctly incorporated and registered.
- A chart showing the shareholding and management structure of the company.
- Copies of ID’s and passports of the directors, shareholders, and ultimate beneficial owners.
- Proof of residence.
- The company’s business plan, as well as projections for the upcoming year.
- A Certificate of Incumbency and Certificate of Good Standing.
A Certificate of Incumbency is an official document with a list of names of its current directors, officers, and key shareholders.
A Certificate of Good Standing is a document that states your company is officially registered in your state.
You must know that this process cannot solely be done online and you will have to schedule a meeting with a banking professional.
Depending on the bank, any number of directors and/or shareholders must make a physical appearance at the bank at some point during the process.
That point in the process when you will have to go to the bank will be determined by the bank.
That being said, there will be the expense of that trip to Hong Kong that must be covered, and it will not be cheap.
The cost of opening a business account in Hong Kong will start to add up.
On top of an account opening fee and initial deposit, there are monthly maintenance fees and there must be a minimum balance in the account required by the bank.
Be sure to determine that you can financially support opening a business account in Hong Kong.
It can be challenging to understand the bank's fee paperwork, so you may consider hiring a professional, such as a certified public accountant, to help interpret the bank jargon along the way, which will be an added expense.
You can read about Standard Chartered’s service charges here.
Hong Kong is a financial hub, so most business banking accounts are multi-currency, which is suitable for companies that receive and make payments in different currencies.
What about foreign exchange services?
Should your company need any multi-currency capability, be sure to check the conditions made available by each bank you're interested in.
Standard Chartered Bank, like most financial institutions in Hong Kong, offers foreign exchange services, excluding Hong Kong Dollar, for 11 currencies: AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, JPY, NZD, SGD, USD, and Renminbi (CNY and CNH).
In terms of fees, depending on your client status with them, Standard Chartered Bank might require you to pay a certain commission once set daily limits are reached for each currency.
For example, should you need to complete transactions of more than USD3,000 in a single day you would have to pay about 0.25% of the total deposit in fees to Standard Chartered Bank. This is beyond any conversion or gateway commission they apply.
It must be noted that Standard Chartered Bank, with its long history of operating in China since the 19th century, has different and more favorable terms for foreign exchange services in the Renminbi, both CNY and CNH.
Should you deposit more than 200 pieces of notes in a single day of Renminbi, they would take 0.25% of the total sum as a "Bulk Cash Deposit" fee.
Please be aware that only CNH can be traded and converted freely in the foreign exchange market outside Mainland China.
What happens after you submit all necessary documentation
Once all the documents necessary are submitted, your application will be reviewed, which can take anywhere from weeks to months.
Once it has been reviewed, you will receive a simple "yes" or "no."
If the determination comes back as a "yes", you can begin using your Standard Chartered business account.
You will be billed monthly a maintenance fee of HKD$300.
Only in specific and limited cases will the bank waive this amount.
Moreover, please note that the maintenance charge might be higher depending on the package you selected.
What if Standard Chartered decides not to open a business account for your company
It can happen, especially if you're an SME business, that the bank doesn't approve your request.
Unfortunately, such determination of "no" will not be followed by an explanation, so do not expect one.
You can, however, call their client feedback hotline to ask for a review of your unsuccessful application.
Is your business having trouble opening business accounts in Hong Kong because you're just too small for the big banks?
Open a virtual business account with Statrys today, and get access to 11 currencies instantly.
Why should I open a Standard Chartered Business Account?
What documents do I need to open a Standard Chartered business account?
Why should I open a business account?