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Operating A Bank Account In Hong Kong

Aug 3, 2008
Hong Kong is considered as one of the main financial centers in Asia. With more than 100 licensed banks, Hong Kong offers several finance related services to customers in Hong Kong as well as in Asia Pacific region. You can avail service such as corporate banking, retail banking, investment services and trade financing from each and every bank in Hong Kong. Some of the leading banks around the world including Canadian banks have their representatives here. Based on the feasibility and credit risk of the individual company, most of the banks in Hong Kong provide extended banking facilities. If you are foreigner, you can consult with your existing banker to confirm whether they have a division here. It is also recommended to ask the details of the services they offer.

Nowadays, it is a simple process to open a new account with any of the banks in Hong Kong. To start a new corporate account, the first step is to register your company. If it is already registered, you can open the account with required documents such as company registration certificate attached with related registration regulation forms, certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association, identity proof of all the directors and copy of board resolution indicating the approval of board of directors to start a new account.

For bank account opening, the company must be registered in Hong Kong. The authority of Hong Kong do not allow all types of company structures to register, only certain company structures are allowed. Three types of companies are allowed to register including a wholly foreign owned enterprise, joint venture and representative office. You can open an account based on the company structure.

A representative office is limited to open only foreign currency and RMB expense accounts while wholly foreign owned enterprise and joint venture can open certain bank accounts, including basic accounts, capital accounts and ordinary accounts. You can not open a basic account and ordinary account in the same bank.

Type of accounts:
1. RMB Corporate Accounts
This type of account includes basic account, regular account, special account and temporary account.

You can use a basic account for the purpose of fund transfers, payment of salaries, and cash deposits and withdrawals. Regular accounts are for cash management needs and you can not withdraw cash from this account. For special purposes including infrastructure construction, reconstruction, agency business, credit cards, you can go for a special account. If you are planning to start a temporary business in Hong Kong, it is better to go with a temporary account. You can receive inward electronic and draft remittances through this account.

2. Foreign currency accounts:
These types of account include capital account, basic account or settlement account, loan account and loan repayment account.

A capital account is for capital injection and you can do foreign currency operating transactions through settlement accounts. A loan account is for borrowing foreign currency from a bank in Hong Kong. For loan principal and interest repayment, you can use the service of a loan repayment account. The approval of State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) is needed to open a Foreign currency capital account and settlement account.

You can use bank accounts in Hong Kong outside this metropolis through the following ways.

i)Phone Banking Service/Internet Banking Service
Banks in Hong Kong such as HSBC and SCB provide this facility. You can use this service via internet for making balance enquires and cash transactions. HSBC offers an exception from monthly fee of HK$80, if your account maintains an average monthly balance of HK$50,000. In the case of SCB, it offers an exception from monthly fee of HK$150, if your account maintains an average daily balance of HK$50,000.

ii)ATM Card
You can use ATM cards to withdraw money from the bank account. Specific ATM machines are there to use named "Plus" for HSBC and "Cirrus" for SCB. There will be a charge for this service, if you are making the transaction outside Hong Kong.
About the Author
The Zetland Financial Group provides the offshore investor with fiduciary Services, investment management and corporate advisory services , offering personal service and professional advice with total confidentiality.
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