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ACCOUNT OPENING REQUIREMENTS

ACCOUNT OPENING REQUIREMENTS

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOUR NEW COMPANY

We understand being able to quickly open a bank account for your new company is one of the major concerns when starting your business.

We have more than 30 years experience assisting clients to open bank accounts and FinTech accounts in Hong Kong and overseas. We can advise you on the choice of bank or FinTech company best suited to the business activity of your company, we can guide you on the account opening requirements and we can outline the account opening process.

In summary we can help you quickly open an account by helping you to choose the right bank and guiding you how to prepare your account opening application. We cannot however open a bank account on behalf of your company or liaise with the bank on your behalf as banks will only liaise with a company’s owners and directors.

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO THE BANKS NEED?

All banks are required to comply with international Anti-Money Laundering regulations which require the banks to:

  • obtain detailed information about the business activities of your new company, and
  • verify your business experience is relevant to the activities of your new company.

The objective of the regulations is to ensure banks avoid providing banking services to criminal or terrorist organisations.

 

HOW TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR COMPANY’S BUSINESS ACTIVITY 

You will need to prepare a brief presentation for the bank that will clearly illustrate the intended business activity of your new company.

Your presentation should include:

  • details of the products or services to be provided by your new company preferably supported by a website or a brochure to illustrate the product or service.
  • an estimate of your new company’s annual turnover and an estimate of the average transaction value.
  • details of the target market for your new company’s products or services including disclosing the countries where major potential customers are located.
  • details of any orders secured or under negotiation including relevant supporting documentation.
  • details of where your new company will source it’s products if your new company is a trading company.
  • details of who will manage the day to day operations of the company and the address from where your new company will operate.

It is important to understand the bank has no prior knowledge of your company hence your presentation needs to provide sufficient information to ensure the bank can properly understand the intended business activity of your new company.

 

BUSINESS BACKGROUND REVIEW

All banks will conduct a business background review to verify your business experience is relevant to the intended activity of your new Hong Kong company in order to prevent bank accounts being opened by criminals posing as legitimate business owners.

The information you will need to provide to the bank will depend on:

(1) if you are a Hong Kong resident, or

(2) if you are an overseas resident and own an existing business in your country of residence, or

(3) if you are an overseas resident and your business experience has been gained from employment.

The information required for each category is detailed below:

If you are a Hong Kong resident you will need to provide the bank with:

  • a copy of your CV.
  • a copy of your business card or contract of employment so the bank can verify your employment.
  • a copy of any relevant professional or technical qualifications.

If you are an overseas resident and own an existing business in your country of residence you will need to provide the bank with:

  • the name of your existing overseas company.
  • a copy of a company search or equivalent documents from the relevant government authority in your country of residence showing the current ownership of your overseas company.
  • the website address of your overseas company or a copy of a brochure.
  • a copy of invoices or contracts to support a recent transaction undertaken by the overseas company in order the bank can verify the activity of the overseas company. Ideally the invoices or contracts will be between the overseas company and a company located in Hong Kong or China demonstrating you have experience of doing business in China.

If you are an overseas resident and your business experience has been gained from employment the banks will be more cautious about opening an account for your new company and will usually only open an account if you can show the bank you have a minimum of 5 years relevant business experience. You will need to provide the bank with:

  • a copy of your CV.
  • a copy of your business card or contract of employment so the bank can verify your employment.
  • a copy of any relevant professional or technical qualifications.
  • a copy of any documents to demonstrate you have business experience in Hong Kong or China.

In all cases to assist the bank with their background review we suggest you provide the bank with a reference letter from your existing banker detailing the length of banking relationship and stating the relationship has been maintained in good order.

OPENING AN ACCOUNT WITH A BANK IN HONG KONG

Please note the Hong Kong Monetary Authority requires all banks operating in Hong Kong to conduct account opening meetings in Hong Kong before opening an account.

It should also be noted the banks in Hong Kong will usually only open accounts where it can be shown the new company will be selling to or buying from companies in Asia (preferably Hong Kong or China) or holding investments in Asia.

We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open a bank account in Hong Kong.

 

OPENING AN ACCOUNT WITH A FINTECH COMPANY IN HONG KONG

It is possible to open an account with a FinTech company without visiting Hong Kong.

FinTech companies are licensed by the Hong Kong Government to provide online multi-currency payment platforms for the receipt and payment of funds and are increasingly used as an alternative to traditional bank accounts. As with a traditional bank account your company will have its own unique account number enabling your company to receive payments from and make payments to traditional bank accounts.

The benefits of opening an account with a FinTech company are your account can be opened online without needing to visit the FinTech company, the account opening is faster than opening an account with a traditional bank with the account usually operational within 1 week from submission of your account opening application and the ongoing charges for operating the account are also significantly less than a traditional bank account.

We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open an account with a FinTech company.

 

OPENING AN ACCOUNT WITH AN OFFSHORE BANK

In cases where a client’s Hong Kong company will have no business activity in Asia we usually suggest opening an account with an offshore bank. We would be pleased to provide further details based on your planned business activities.

In most cases accounts can be opened with an offshore bank without the need for clients to visit the bank hence this is a perfect solution for international clients as they can incorporate a Hong Kong company and open a bank account without the need to travel to Hong Kong.

We take the opportunity to refer you to our guide to the process to open a bank account in an offshore bank.

 

NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPENING BANK ACCOUNTS?

Contact us via email at info@acshk.com to learn more about opening bank accounts.