Hong Kong corporate bank account
Healy Consultants Group PLC assists our Clients with opening a corporate bank account in Hong Kong. It is possible for both locally-incorporated and foreign (i.e. non-Hong Kong) companies to open international bank account in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong banking options
- Hong Kong is one of the leading countries in terms of its banking industry and it has been ranked 3rd in the Global Financial Centres Index in 2018. The country has over 71 of the world’s biggest international banks and a FX volume of US$274.6 billion per day;
- The banks do not require foreign companies to possess a local entity in order to set up an account. However, it has become increasingly difficult to open an offshore company bank account as banks have tightened their requirements;
- For both onshore and offshore companies, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority requires each signatory, shareholder and director to go through a face-to-face interview for around an hour, which is a part of its AML/CFT obligations. Unfortunately, our Client travelling to Hong Kong to meet the bank do not guarantee bank account opening;
- The best international business banks in Hong Kong recommended by us include: i) HSBC (offshore business bank account); ii) DBS; iii) Citibank; iv) BNP Paribas; v) Deutsche Bank and vi) United Overseas Bank. Out of the many available international banks in Hong Kong, HSBC provides the best business bank account in the jurisdiction;
- Local banks in Hong Kong that are recommended by Healy Consultants Group PLC include: i) Bank of East Asia, ii) Dah Sing Bank and iii) Hang Seng Bank;
- Below is a sample of 6 main banking options in Hong Kong:
- On average, Hong Kong banks take 2,5 months to issue corporate bank account numbers.
Requirements for opening a bank account in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong companies that wish to open a corporate bank account will usually be required to have the following corporation bank account opening documents: i) notarized residential proofs and identity documents of directors in English; ii) certified corporate documents and iii) notarized business address proofs in English; iv) copy of the UBO personal bank statement for the past 3 months; v) Latest Audited financial statements (if any);
- Hong Kong banks have tightened their account opening procedures, especially for foreign companies. The same applies for merchant account that do not have local Hong Kong customers;
- It has also become challenging to secure a bank account for a startup, small or medium -sized businesses. Because Hong Kong banks are not hungry for business, they show more interest for those companies that can proof high annual turnover;
- Foreign companies are required to submit i) a business plan with details of its company’s product and services; ii) examples of contracts and invoices generated by and for the newly-incorporated company; iii) recent proof of address of the bank signatories (in English); iv) notarized copies of passport and address proof of all the bank signatories and v) a bank reference letter for the bank signatories;
- The bank account opening application can be advanced only after the bank signatory visits personally the bank branch;
- Some Hong Kong banks like HSBC, like to communicate directly with our client and will not put Healy Consultants Group in the loop for security purposes. In this case, Healy Consultants Group will assist our Client to prepare a quality answers to the bankers questions and requests.
Legal considerations and FX control
- Hong Kong is under the AML/CFT regime, which requires its banks to comply by the legal and supervisory requirements set to establish safe financial systems and regulations to avoid and identify money laundering and terrorist financing;
- Hong Kong is compliant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FATCA. Banks and other financial organizations are obliged to report on information on financial accounts held directly or indirectly by US nationals;
- The Hong Kong government imposes no limitation on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittance of profits, debt services, capital, capital gains and returns on intellectual property or imported inputs. The authorities also allow for exemption from stamp duty on shares in exchange traded funds through a brokerage account;
- The currency used by Hong Kong banks is the Hong Kong Dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar. Hong Kong Money Authority has set the upper and lower guaranteed limit (US$1:HK7.75-7.85) since 18 May 2005.
Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Hong Kong corporate bank account opening fees
- Healy Consultants Group PLC standard fee to assist our Clients secure a Hong Kong corporate bank account for an already existing Hong Kong or foreign company amounts to US$5,950. If our Client also wants us to register the entity, then our fee is US$4,950;
- This fee includes Healy Consultants fee to i) liaise with Hong Kong banks to secure interest in onboarding our Client’s business; ii) secure multiple meetings with Hong Kong banks for our Client’s preferred dates; iii) send one staff member to accompany our Client to Hong Kong to meet with our network of bank officers; iv) weekly follow up with banks to secure feedback re the account opening application review process and v) timely secure multi-currency bank account numbers. See this page regarding our travel policy;
- If our Client travels to Hong Kong alone, Healy Consultants Group PLC will refund our Client up to US$950 to reflect our Firm will have no travel and accommodation expenses.
Hong Kong bank account opening requirements
- For high risk businesses such as trading of luxury watches, high end jewellery and precious stones, some international banks may require our Client to first open a premium private bank account and deposit at least US$200,000 (HK$1.5 million) for 1 year, before a corporate bank account application can be processed;
- Unfortunately, the opening of a premium private account does not guarantee the positive outcome for the corporate bank account;
- Standard bank charges include i) one-time account opening fee; ii) monthly account maintenance; iii) monthly balance fall below fee; iv) internet banking maintenance. Each bank applies different transaction costs depending on the type incoming/outgoing fund transfer. Refer to the table in this section for a comparison of Hong Kong banks.
Alternative option - Opening a corporate bank account in SingaporeHealy Consultants Group PLC recommends these two banks i) RHB Singapore and ii) OCBC Bank Singapore.
Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore for a Hong Kong company requires the following:
- Physical meeting between the relationship manager and all bank signatories;
- Compulsory supporting documents even if the business is a startup including i) contracts or letters of engagement with prospective clients or email correspondence evidence ii) contracts with suppliers iii) director’s resume to prove experience in the business and iv) reference letter from potential client or lawyer (supported with email correspondence)
- Engaging a professional service provider will increase bank account approval success rate. Our fee for this service will be US$4,950;
Let us know if you need Healy Consultants Group PLC assistance to open a quality corporate account for your company. Our Banking Team will effectively and efficiently liaise with bank authorities to shelter our Clients from the administrative challenges and timely secure a bank account approval.