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Bank Account in Hong Kong For Non-Resident and Foreigners

Known as the international financial center for several years, Hong Kong attracted thousands of foreigners to set up their business in this city. This place is also crowned in the top destinations for establishing a business due to its extremely flexible employment policy for attracting highly skilled professionals. Hong Kong is also popular for motivating entrepreneurs, investors, and talented people to start their business.

Despite all the benefits, some challenges need to be overcome to enjoy the benefits of immigration to a new region. Suppose you are ready to reap the benefits of doing business in Hong Kong. In that case, you have to first apply for the working visa and then meet all the requirements of standard immigration policies and relevant specific visa eligibility criteria.

Startupr can also help businesses and entrepreneurs start a new life in the new regions by focusing on commercial strengths and getting their employees in the right place. We gave personal attention to every application so that they can set up their enterprise. We also offer services to expatriate clients and their families for their visas and permits.

Banking in Hong Kong

Hong Kong banks are known to have the largest representation of the international banks globally, counted 71 out of the world’s 100 largest banks. In fact, Hong Kong ranked as the 9th largest banking terms and second in Asia after Japan in terms of external volume transactions. The banking sector of Hong Kong votes to make this city a major loan syndication center in the region. Let’s learn more about the banking sector in Hong Kong.

An outlook of the Hong Kong banking sector

Being a major participant in the Hong Kong foreign exchange market, the banking sector of Hong Kong makes this city the world’s 7th largest foreign exchange center. Over time, the banking sector’s position in Hong Kong is increasing and becoming stable by helping business founders scaling up their business.

In fact, the process of opening a bank account in Hong Kong has become simple and straightforward, with the launch of the first virtual banks following the issuance of eight licenses by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority earlier this year.

The new entrance of the virtual bank is coming out of an icebreaking movement, which is aggressively giving competition to the existing traditional banks for customers and market share.

Despite all the challenges business founders and normal citizens faced during the COVID-19 outbreak, Hong Kong offers numerous opportunities for growth and investments for banks in 2020.

Mainland China will open the financial services sector to foreign investment and the international banks in Hong Kong to take the majority in their mainland Chinese securities and asset management businesses.

The status of Hong Kong as an international financial center and asset management center will help to open up new opportunities for those banks as they continue to support the overseas expansion of Chinese companies, particularly as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Moreover, the banking sector of Hong Kong is also allocating assets to mainland customers with the introduction of new wealth management products and expanding the size of their high-net-worth customer base.

Hong Kong banking and financial services

The banking system of Hong Kong followed the three-tier system, usually formed by three types of banking institutions, namely deposit-taking companies, licensed banks, and restricted license banks. The three tiers of the deposit-taking institutions follow different restrictions. Therefore, the restricted licensed banks and licensed banks will be considered as banks in Hong Kong.

Being the second-largest international banking in Asia after Japan, the Hong Kong banking sector is highly open and effective for the volume of external transactions. Because of the non-discriminatory low tax regime, the SAR’s banking and financial services economy is successful. Hong Kong levied a maximum tax of 16.5% and a salary tax of approximately 15%. Moreover, low tax rates are also complemented by the absence of several types of taxation.

Bank Account in Hong Kong for Non-Residents and Foreigners

Fortunately, because of its favorable reputation among entrepreneurs and investors, Hong Kong has become one of the top chosen offshore banking jurisdictions for foreigners.

The process for opening a bank account in Hong Kong for foreigners and non-resident is simple but comes with certain challenges that need to be met. If you are setting up a newly incorporated company, expats and non-residents can face some difficulties while opting for opening a bank account. Some issues will be:

  • Due diligence procedure in Hong Kong
  • In-person appointments
  • Long wait time for the bank’s approval

Moreover, every bank has certain criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of every application. Sometimes, Hong Kong banks deny access to opening a bank account because of nationality and some other factors.

Get a valid visa to stay in Hong Kong

At first, every entrepreneur needs to apply for a valid visa to stay in Hong Kong. In fact, you are required to meet all the specified criteria for staying and applying for the general employment working visa. You also need to have special skills, knowledge, and experience of value to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). For applying for a visa and working visa, Startupr will help the business owners.

How does a non-resident open a bank account in Hong Kong?

If you are curious to open a bank in Hong Kong despite your different nationality, Startupr can help you. Hong Kong allows everybody to open a bank account but follows certain restrictions and processes.

For a non-resident, bank officials usually ask for proof of residence to open up a bank account. There are some documents that bank officials can ask from the founders to set up the account. That’s why it is essential to get familiar with the bank’s regulations, especially on minimum balance and transactions before applying for the account.

Personal account

If you want to open a personal accounting in Hong Kong, despite your different nationality, below shared are the documents need to prepare to open a bank account in Hong Kong:

  • Account application forms
  • Proof of employment
  • Passport or HK ID card
  • Proof of address
  • Bank statements in the most recent 6 months
  • Bank reference letter dated in 3 months
  • CV
  • Additional documents requested by the bank

Business account

If your business is registered and incorporated in Hong Kong, you can apply for the corporate bank account. It will approximately take 2 weeks for special accounts with ATM and credit card services, and 2 working days for a common cash account. To open a corporate account, you require the following;

  • Your business plan
  • Sample invoices and contracts
  • Proof of business address
  • Copies of all signatories (shareholders and directors).
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Bank statements in the most recent 6 months
  • Bank reference letter dated in 3 months
  • Company documents – i.e., Business Registration Certificate with CR,
  • Certificate of Incorporation with IRD, Articles of Association, etc.
  • A detailed business plan
  • Proof of business – i.e., contracts, supplier invoices, client payments, website, etc. (applicable for companies already active over 6 months)

Remember that the chances of success when opening a corporate bank account are very slim at only 5%. If you need any professional assistance for applying for a bank account in Hong Kong, Startupr can help you!

Alternative Options to Open Bank Account

There are also other options for opening a bank account in Hong Kong. Besides applying with certain traditional styled Hong Kong banks, you may also check for the bank that has a branch in Hong Kong as in your country. This will help maintain a good relationship with the bank, and opening a bank account will become easier. In fact, you can also make an appointment and apply for the bank account through your own bank in Hong Kong.

For instance, KBC, an international bank, has branches in different places such as Austria, Hungary, Czech, and Belgium. If you already have a bank account with KBC, you might ask KBC to contact the Hong Kong branch. They will help you open a bank account and also prepare other supporting documents.

There are other alternative options for opening a bank account in Hong Kong, such as virtual bank account opening, branch application, and
offshore business accounts that you can choose.

Virtual bank account opening

Some people say that foreigners and non-resident can’t open a bank account remotely. In reality, there are many ways to open a bank account in Hong Kong. The digital bank account platforms such as Statrys really stand out for overseas customers.

It allows remote registration for opening a bank account. Now, customers can operate their bank account anytime, anywhere, with few clicks. Modern technologies are streamlining the traditional process and making everything online.

Branch Application

Foreigners and non-residents can also opt for a branch application to minimize the complexity of opening a bank account in Hong Kong. For instance, foreign customers can opt for an international bank with a foothold in Hong Kong, an HSBC bank account.

This bank allows customers to visit the bank right in their home country and complete all the paperwork before visiting Hong Kong to complete the opening process’s final steps.

But remember that only a few banks provide this kind of service. Every bank has its own policy regarding this matter. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your desired bank or trusted professional like Startupr to know more about this viable option at your nearest bank’s branch.

Choose an offshore bank account

If you are still wondering about the difficulty of opening a Hong Kong bank account despite above-mentioned viable alternatives, you have one more option with you- offshore bank accounts.

An offshore bank account is one of the best and viable options for incorporated companies in Hong Kong. In fact, for this kind of bank account, it is not compulsory to own a corporate bank account in Hong Kong. You can open an offshore bank account in Hong Kong with your business established in other countries.

Hong Kong is also welcoming most foreign companies by allowing them to open a bank account here easily. In response to the outbreak of the unanticipated situation COVID-19, two of the most significant partners- DBS and OCBC banks-offer favorable approaches to support customers and clients globally to open the account.

DBS banks offer the opportunity to open bank accounts digitally, allowing customers to get their corporate bank account open without fixing a real-time meeting with the bank officials in Singapore.

When an applicant meets all the criteria for opening a bank account in Hong Kong, they can get their bank account after 2 weeks. Moreover, OCBC banks are also offering assistance to Singaporean companies with online account banking. In fact, they are allowing people for the bank account’s remote registration.

Need Any Assistance in Hong Kong Bank Account Opening?

This article is all about viable options for opening a bank account in Hong Kong for foreigners and non-residents. Some people believe that foreigners can’t open a bank account in HK. This is not true. You just have to meet certain requirements, and you are good to go.

We have also mentioned some alternatives for opening a bank account in Hong Kong, being a foreigner. Choose and decide as per your needs and requirements, and if one option doesn’t work, you can always move onto the next. If you still need any help, we are here. We can help you with the process of bank account opening in Hong Kong. Our expert team will guide you with the entire process.