How to Open a Bank Account in Hong Kong, Your Ultimate Guide
Opening a Hong Kong bank account is relative easy and straightforward. You don't need to be a Hong Kong citizen or hold an employment visa to apply for one. All you need is a proof of identification and proof of a Hong Kong address. With an abundance of banking services, there are many kinds of accounts geared to your needs. Here we explain the differences between the most commonly used bank accounts in Hong Kong, and how to apply.
Types of accounts
The most commonly used bank accounts in Hong Kong include chequing accounts, saving accounts, timed deposit accounts, and investment accounts. If you want to deposit your salary, you may consider an integrated account, which gives you both a chequing and a savings account. Meanwhile, a timed deposit account enables you to earn interest by saving foreign or domestic currencies at competitive exchange rates, and investment accounts enable you to purchase dividends and bonds worldwide.
Choose of Banks
Once you have decided which type of account you need, the next step is to decide whether you want to apply in a local or international bank. International banks, such as HSBC and Citibank, certainly offer more more convenient services, but they typically have higher administrative chargers. Local banks, such as The Bank of East Asia and Standard Chartered, often offer comprehensive accounts with attractive welcome packages, but they may not have branches outside of Asia. If your business involves China, and you are interested in trading or saving in Chinese RMB, you may use Bank of China, which offers multi-currency savings and investment accounts for both China and Hong Kong.
How to Apply
You can apply for Hong Kong bank account online or in person. Currently, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and Hang Seng Bank offer online application services. Once you have completed the online application forms, you need to provide original and photocopies of your proof of identification (valid passport or Hong Kong identity card) and proof of a Hong Kong address (which includes utility bills, phone bills, and bank statements) to the bank in person. In most cases, the minimum deposit for opening a Hong Kong bank account is HKD $1000, and you can deposit it with the bank representative on the day of application, within 3 days in person, or via the ATM.
If you require auto-payroll services for depositing your salary, you also need to provide proof of your employment, such as a contract or pay slips. If you are applying for a multi-currency timed deposit account, you also need to specify the duration that you will purchase the foreign currency and sign the corresponding agreement. Minimal deposit rates may also vary from bank to bank and currency to currency.
ATM in Hong Kong
When you open a bank account in Hong Kong, you will be asked to set up your ATM PIN in person, and deposit the minimum amount in your account. Your ATM card should be ready in 3-7 business days, and you can pick it up in person or by mail. Next, follow the instructions to activate your ATM card, update relevant details, and then you are all set.
However, a major inconvenience about ATM is that account holders cannot withdraw or deposit funds in all ATM counters. What's more, the scope of services that you can access via your ATM card varies from account to account, depending on your account settings. For example, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank account holders can only withdraw funds, deposit funds, and pay bills through each other's ATMs. (Check ChinaLegalExpressHong Kong Bank Account Service Proposal and see our comprehensive services at an affordable rate.)