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Setting up a Hong Kong Account
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Sammy Offline
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Post: #1
Setting up a Hong Kong Account
I'm going to be in Hong Kong for a few days in July.

I'm thinking about taking advantage of being there to set up a bank account with an HK bank.

Has anyone does this before? Any tips on which bank to use or recommendations?

How easy is it? What kind of documentation will I need to provide and what's the minimum balance?
04-25-2011 09:28 AM
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metalhaze Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
HSBC
04-25-2011 01:01 PM
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OSL Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
When in doubt, always HSBC. You will be in HK and you probably won't be living there forever.

HSBC is arguably one of the best banks for international and highly mobile people. It is highly reliable and has branches everywhere.
04-25-2011 02:17 PM
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maestrobaires Offline
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RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
HSBC argentina sucks
05-01-2011 11:26 AM
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Imthattypeofguy Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
Hi agree with HSBC, they call it the world bank for a reason. I've used my account in UAE, Jordan, Thailand, Kuwait and Germany. Ironically never in the U.S. though. HSBC recently opened a branch in Iraq of all places
05-01-2011 12:13 PM
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maestrobaires Offline
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RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
HSBC makes a good bank for us worldly types, sure
05-01-2011 03:08 PM
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gework Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
Does anyone have any experience opening a Hong Kong business account for a foreign company? I've been anticipating doing this for about a year and now I am looking into the finer details seems it's quite a process and it will probably be a problem that the address is in Serbia - or more specifically in the area claimed by both Serbia and Croatia, which could make it even more of an issue.

Seems opening a personal account is easy, so will do that at least.
06-25-2017 06:58 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
Why not contact the bank and ask them directly?
06-25-2017 08:14 PM
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Digimata Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
(06-25-2017 06:58 PM)gework Wrote:  Does anyone have any experience opening a Hong Kong business account for a foreign company? I've been anticipating doing this for about a year and now I am looking into the finer details seems it's quite a process and it will probably be a problem that the address is in Serbia - or more specifically in the area claimed by both Serbia and Croatia, which could make it even more of an issue.

Seems opening a personal account is easy, so will do that at least.
Personal accounts are easy if you already bank with HSBC.

They won't like a HK domiciled account for a foreign corp that has no ties to HK but depending on how well polished your application is, they may consider it. Yes, your Serbian address is going to give them 2nd thoughts. Something like a UK address would be more on board.
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2017 12:09 PM by Digimata.)
06-26-2017 12:08 PM
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edlefou Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
(06-25-2017 06:58 PM)gework Wrote:  Does anyone have any experience opening a Hong Kong business account for a foreign company? I've been anticipating doing this for about a year and now I am looking into the finer details seems it's quite a process and it will probably be a problem that the address is in Serbia - or more specifically in the area claimed by both Serbia and Croatia, which could make it even more of an issue.

Seems opening a personal account is easy, so will do that at least.

If you're talking about registering a foreign business in Hong Kong, I did that a couple years ago. It cost me $1,017 CAD. If you have any specific questions, let me know.

There are a bunch of consultants who do this for a living and you can find them on the internet. I did it in person and had everything done in less than a week. Once the business is registered, you can go to any bank and open up a business bank account.

I don't know whether it's possible to do it remotely. I don't know whether an address in Serbia or Croatia would be more difficult. I don't think you can open a business bank account in Hong Kong without the business being registered in Hong Kong.
06-26-2017 12:57 PM
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Running Turtles Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
Is there any reason NOT to set up a Hong Kong company while you're there? From what I understand, a HK company does not pay tax on income derived from non-HK sources. There is supposedly a very stringent check on it though, so I would probably get an accountant.

Many sellers on Amazon have done this to avoid high taxes in their home countries.
06-26-2017 02:11 PM
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BallsDeep Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
It's pretty difficult to open a HK business banking account nowadays, and the few banks that allow foreigners to do it have obnoxious fees.

It's not like it is in the US where you expect to have a bank account to park your cash for free.
06-29-2017 10:03 AM
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Prince Charming Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
I set up some HSBC accounts in HK for my business back in 2008. I had to do it through a third party company in HK that gave me a local mailing address and some connections. With my company incorporated in British Virgin islands and Residency in Panama I was free from taxes. However Panama was a pretty shitty place I didnt enjoy living so it didnt last long. I would recommend HSBC but it was a hassle getting credit cards though. I had to leave a deposit of twice the the credit limit I wanted and the cards had no perks like 1% cash back you can get in america
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2017 12:08 PM by Prince Charming.)
06-29-2017 12:04 PM
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atlant Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
(06-26-2017 02:11 PM)Running Turtles Wrote:  Is there any reason NOT to set up a Hong Kong company while you're there? From what I understand, a HK company does not pay tax on income derived from non-HK sources. There is supposedly a very stringent check on it though, so I would probably get an accountant.

Many sellers on Amazon have done this to avoid high taxes in their home countries.

I have a HK company.

Getting the company set up is very easy. But opening a HK bank account as a non resident, whether personal or corporate, has become very difficult due to stricter anti money laundering policies and international pressure on tax havens, especially if you are an US citizen. I am not a US citizen and I still had to come to a face-to-face interview that lasted about 30 minutes, I had to provide proof of existing business activity (invoices, nature of business etc). I opened it at HSBC - DBS wanted an opening fee of about 10k USD or so and Citi wanted 100k USD in cash on the account at all times as an opening requirement.

Supposedly now it is even more difficult to the point that some of the company setup agencies are straight up rejecting any and all US clients. Even personal accounts seem affected and unless you are dropping serious cash into your account I highly doubt they will give any random tourist an account now.

Once the company is set up, you are required to conduct an annual audit and file a financial report and tax declaration through a CPA. Together with this, business license renewal, secretary / virtual office fees, etc. the company will you cost between 1k-3k USD annually depending on what you are doing with it, and this all needs to be done even if you your income is derived outside of HK.

It also doesn't absolve you from any personal tax liabilities you may or may not have in your country of residence.
(This post was last modified: 07-03-2017 10:10 AM by atlant.)
07-03-2017 10:09 AM
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gework Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
(07-03-2017 10:09 AM)atlant Wrote:  But opening a HK bank account as a non resident, whether personal or corporate, has become very difficult due to stricter anti money laundering policies and international pressure on tax havens, especially if you are an US citizen.

I can confirm that opening a non-resident bank account in Hong Kong has become very difficult and that if you need an account in a top-tier jurisdiction that it would be better off going with Singapore (I believe), Switzerand (CIM Banque, easy in 2015) or Lichtenstien (large six figure sum initial deposit). As atlant outlines, if you want to open a non-resident account in Hong Kong you will need to put a large initial deposit and probably keep it there. Citibank now want 1.5 million HKD, almost 200,000 USD to open an account. From what I've been reading HSBC, in particular, are just not going near such accounts due to the giant compliance departments they would require.

I only found one bank that advertises they offer non-resident accounts, but when I went into their branch the woman said they don't do them. This could be down to her error, so I'm going to check on email.

Another alternative is HSBC Prestige accounts, which require £50,000 to remain in your native HSBC account; and they will open a Hong Kong account without you having to visit in person. But this doesn't sound like the best option for the dwindling shrouds of banking secrecy.
08-29-2017 04:26 AM
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gework Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Setting up a Hong Kong Account
UPDATE:

I was going through the motions of setting up a bank account with ICICI bank. For non-residents there is a $1,200 HKD (about $160 USD) yearly maintenance fee and they require you keep at least $10,000 HKD ($1,300) in the account at all times.

But then they told me the only way you can open an account is with an initial deposit via a Hong Kong cheque.

I suspect that you could open an account by walking into every bank branch you came across until one accepts you, but seems it's going to be easier to go to Singapore.
09-03-2017 06:51 AM
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