Best Business Bank Accounts in Hong Kong (Part 2) – that will be the topic of today’s article. You can find Part 1 here.
Having a business can help a person achieve all their dreams and lead their dream lifestyle. However, this comes with a lot of hurdles, and not everyone can succeed.
In Hong Kong, the number of start-ups are increasing every day and most people are succeeding in them.
Starting a business in Hong Kong has several advantages including:
— Being located in a strategic position
— Having a business-friendly environment
— World-class infrastructure
— A strong legal system
— A specialized banking system
— Talented professionals in finance and investment
One of the productive tools for handling finances related to a business is a business bank account.
A business bank account is specifically designed for businesses to deposit and withdraw funds, make and receive payments, and manage finances.
Some advantages of having a business bank account include:
— Separating personal and business finances
— Professional image
— Access to credit
— Payment processing services
— Online banking
— Simplified record-keeping for taxes.
In the previous article, we discussed the business bank accounts offered by HSBC, OCBC Wing Hang, Bank of China, DBS, and Bank of East Asia.
In this article, we will be focusing on business bank accounts offered by the following banks:
— Standard Chartered (HK)
— Hang Seng Bank
— Citibank Hong Kong
Let us now discuss the business bank accounts offered by each of these banks in detail.
Standard Chartered (HK)
Standard Chartered is a financial services firm based in London, UK, and serves more than 50 nations.
The company provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses in Hong Kong.
The business bank account offered by Standard Chartered (HK) supports 11 major currencies.
Lending solutions, investment services, insurance services, and market insights are the primary features offered through this account.
It also offers services such as payroll management, tax management, MPF contributions, and FX services.
To open an account with Standard Chartered in Hong Kong, it is necessary to physically visit one of their business banking branches.
The process of obtaining a business bank account with Standard Chartered (Hong Kong) involves multiple steps such as:
— Downloading and completing an application form from the bank’s website
— Gathering all required documentation
— Bringing the completed form and documents to the branch to begin the application process.
After the submission of all necessary documentation, the application will undergo review.
This reviewing process can take several weeks or even months before getting approved successfully.
If your account is not approved, you can ask for a review of the account opening application. This can be done by visiting one of their business banking centers or calling them at (852) 2886 6988.
The required documents for opening a business bank account at Standard Chartered (HK) include:
— Company’s history
— Ownership structure
— Business nature including:
1. The primary location of operation
2. Subsidiaries or branches in other countries
3. Key products or services
4. Expected sales turnover
5. Number of employees
6. Anticipated net profit
7. Major import and export countries
8. Significant suppliers and buyers
9. Sources of funding
10. Banking activities
11. Sources of income
It is important to note that the Bank may request additional information when needed.
Furthermore, the Bank may inquire about any direct or indirect dealings or ownership interests.
Especially, in countries like Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba, or regions such as Crimea or Sevastopol.
To open a business account with Standard Chartered HK, your business must be registered as one of the following:
— Sole proprietorship
— Limited company
— Society or association
— Owners incorporation
However, there is no clear list of registration requirements provided by Standard Chartered Hong Kong.
Businesses incorporated in specific countries like the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc., are eligible to open an account.
For businesses incorporated elsewhere, it is unclear if they are eligible.
Under such circumstances, the bank provides a checklist that is subject to review before determining eligibility.
Companies incorporated in a sanctioned country or operating in a prohibited industry are not eligible to open an account.
The prohibited industries include mining, fossil fuels, and oil and gas, and the list of sanctioned countries includes countries like Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Crimea, Cuba, Iran, etc.
There could also be limitations based on the residency or nationality of directors and shareholders.
When your company falls under these restrictions, it’s best to contact Standard Chartered HK for more information.
This is because there might be a requirement for additional documents for your application.
There are two types of business bank accounts offered by Standard Chartered Hong Kong, which are Business Accounts and Priority Banking Accounts.
This information, regarding the types of accounts, isn’t publicly available on the website of Standard Chartered Hong Kong.
The cash management feature allows businesses to open an account that supports 11 major currencies, which are AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, USD, and RMB.
You can receive and pay in these currencies both locally and internationally through SWIFT. Locally, you can make FPS bank transfers in Hong Kong using HKD and CNY.
Standard Chartered offers two types of payment cards for businesses:
— Corporate credit card/Visa signature business card
— Priority Banking credit card (for Priority Banking customers)
These cards come with benefits such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, and hotel and travel bookings.
Standard Chartered does not provide much information on currencies and transaction fees for these cards.
Therefore, it is recommended to contact them for more details if you plan to use the cards frequently.
There are different types of fees associated with the Standard Chartered Hong Kong business bank account, which are provided below.
— Overseas company account set up: HKD 5,000 per company
— Business account maintenance fee: HKD 300 per month (waived if the average 6-month balance is over HKD 200,000)
— Premium business account maintenance fee: HKD 200
— Overseas company account: HKD 500 (waived if average 1-month balance is over HKD 500,000)
— Account closure fee (if within 3 months from opening date): HKD 200
Transfer fees for receiving funds:
— Local transfers (in HKD, USD, EUR, and CNY using RTGS): HKD 15
— Telegraphic Transfers: HKD 55
Transfer fees for sending funds:
— Demand draft: HKD 100
— Local transfer to other local banks (in HKD/CNY non-RTGS): Free
— Local transfer in (HKD, USD, EUR, and CNY using RTGS): HKD 170
— Outward Telegraphic Transfer: From HKD 200. This comes with an additional HKD 100 for non-domicile currency. There is also a minimum of HKD 250 for correspondent bank charges.
No fees are charged if the amount exchanged is within the daily limit for each currency. If exceeded, there is a charge of 0.25% of the total amount.
— Annual fees for Corporate Credit Card/ Visa Signature Business Card: HKD 1,800 per annum
— Annual fees for Priority Banking Credit Card: HKD 2,400 per annum
Cash withdrawal fees:
— JETCO network (local): Free
— JETCO network (overseas), Visa/PLUS Network, Mastercard/Cirrus Network: HKD 28
— UnionPay Network (local): HKD 15
— UnionPay Network (overseas): HKD 15 + 0.5%
Overseas ATM transactions incur fees based on the overseas local bank.
To get more details or apply for a business bank account with Standard Chartered Hong Kong, click here.
Hang Seng Bank
Hang Seng Bank is one of the leading financial institutions in Asia, yet it lacks a significant global presence.
Business bank accounts are of five types when it comes to those offered by the Hang Seng Bank, which are:
— Biz Virtual+ Account
— Integrated Business Solutions Account
— Savings Account (2 subcategories)
— Current Account (3 subcategories)
— Time Deposit Account
The Biz Virtual+ Account and the Integrated Business Solutions Account are the primary types of accounts.
The Biz Virtual+ Account is suitable for startups and local SMEs. On the other hand, Integrated Business Solutions Account is better suited for SMEs and well-established corporations.
The monthly fee for both accounts is waived if the Total Relationship Balance is HKD 50,000 equivalent or above.
Customers can also enjoy payment service privileges, including preferential pricing on FPS payments or chequebook issuance fees.
Now, to have a clear insight, let us have a look at each of these account types individually.
Biz Virtual+ Account
The Biz Virtual+ Account is a new account that offers a range of benefits for businesses. These benefits include:
An all-in-one account with preferential pricing on Faster Payment System (FPS) services.
It also offers up to 140 basis points exchange rate premium for major foreign currencies versus Hong Kong Dollars.
You get access to Hang Seng Business e-Banking, Hang Seng Business Mobile Banking, phone banking services, and 24-hour self-service banking channels.
A half waiver for administration fees for online applications and a full waiver of the monthly fee for the first 24 months.
The Biz Virtual+ Account can be opened remotely in as fast as three business days. You can also access professional services available at the Business Banking Centre.
The fees for the Biz Virtual+ Account are as follows.
— Account Administration Fee: HKD 600 (when applying remotely) or HKD 1,200 (when applying through Business Banking Centre)
— Monthly Fee: Waived for the first 24 months, and HKD 200 from the 25th month onwards. This is unless the Total Relationship Balance is HKD 50,000 equivalent or above
— Paper Statement Fee: HKD 50 per month
— Counter Transaction Fee: HKD 30 per transaction, starting from the 31st transaction
Integrated Business Solutions Account
Now, let us go into the details of the Integrated Business Solutions Account.
Hang Seng Commercial Card helps consolidate company expenses, streamline payment processes, and save costs.
Investment services are also provided to help your company profit from different market conditions and enhance potential returns.
An exclusive business account is available with privileges such as:
— Preferential foreign exchange rates
— Fee waivers for payroll services
— An annual fee waiver for the first two years on the Hang Seng Commercial Mastercard
Monthly fee waivers for the business account are also available based on your Total Relationship Balance with Hang Seng.
A waiver for balances of HKD 50,000 or above is offered and a fee of HKD 200 incurs for balances below that threshold.
Disclaimer: Please note that the Bank reserves the right to modify any of the above privileges, rates, fees, charges, or terms and conditions at any time without prior notice, and its decisions in any disputes will be final and conclusive.
The fees for Integrated Business Solutions Account have been listed below:
— Account Administration Fee: HK$1,200
— Monthly Fee: HK$200
— Paper Statement Fee: HK$20/ month
— Counter Transaction Fee: HK$30/ transaction from the 31st transaction
There are two available sub-categories in the Business Savings Account offered by Hang Seng, which are:
— HKD Savings Account
— Foreign Currency Savings Account
The HKD Savings Account offers two options: the HKD Statement or ATM Statement Savings Account.
For the HKD Savings Account, daily simple interest is paid every month.
For the Foreign Currency Savings Account, there are 11 deposit currencies available with tenors varying from one day to three years.
The Bank updates information on Renminbi Savings Account(s) in accordance with relevant laws, rules, regulations, directions, and guidelines.
The Current Account offered by the Hang Seng Bank can be further classified into three sub-categories namely:
— HKD Current Account
— USD Current Account
— Renminbi Current Account
The HKD Current Account allows you to make payments conveniently using cheques.
A statement is provided, which shows all transactions for easy account reconciliation.
With the USD Current Account, you can make local payments in US dollars using cheques, saving you time and remittance charges.
Monthly statements provide a comprehensive overview of all transactions.
You can also check your account balance and make transfers through various channels, such as Hang Seng Business e-Banking and Phone Banking.
The Renminbi Current Account provides monthly statements that detail all transactions.
This account also allows for various types of account transactions, including cash deposits and withdrawals, account transfers, remittances, and issuing cheques.
You can transfer funds to self-named or third-party accounts without any limitations on transaction amount or purpose.
The minimum account opening balance for all accounts is HKD 2,000 or its equivalent.
Time Deposit Account
Hang Seng offers time deposit services that allow customers to choose from various currencies and tenors, with high interest rates.
Bonus interest rates can be earned by placing time deposits through Hang Seng Business e-Banking.
There are 12 currencies to choose from, including Hong Kong Dollar, Swiss Franc, Euro, Pound Sterling, etc.
The minimum deposit amount is as low as HKD 10,000 (or its equivalent), and the deposit tenors range from one week to five years.
Interest is automatically paid out every month with the time deposit account of Hang Seng Bank.
Additionally, customers can use their HKD time deposit as collateral to secure a credit line for an overdraft facility. For this, the bank has set up a limit of up to 95% of the deposit amount.
Hang Seng Business e-Banking provides preferential banking privileges, and there are multiple banking channels to save administration time.
Payment solutions can also be found to suit the respective client’s banking needs.
It is recommended to check for updates from the Bank or regulatory authorities and to contact Bank staff for the most updated information.
Citibank Hong Kong
Let us have a detailed insight into the business bank accounts offered by Citibank Hong Kong.
Citibank offers three types of business checking accounts, namely:
— Citi Priority
Citibanking is the most straightforward option, while Citi Priority requires a balance of HKD 500,000. On the other hand, Citigold requires a balance of HKD 1,500,000 or more.
Unfortunately, the Citibank website doesn’t provide much data about their account options.
However, all three checking accounts offer features such as telegraphic transfer, CHATS, online banking, worldwide ATM withdrawal, and access to Citibank events and insurance products.
There is no information on transaction limits, overdraft protection, flexible checking account services, or interest rates available on the website.
To apply for a business checking account with Citibank, you need to follow the following steps:
— Download the application forms
— Complete them
— Visit a Citibank branch to submit the forms.
You must ensure that all the required directors, shareholders, and authorized signers are present during the meeting.
You do not have to bring any staff members or translators with you. Citibank may reschedule the meeting if any necessary documents are missing from the submitted forms.
To see if your business is eligible for Citibusiness accounts, go to the Citibank business website.
Generally, your business can get an account if it’s a private limited company, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
This business should be incorporated or registered in Hong Kong and have a turnover under USD 10 million.
The documents you need to provide depend on your business’s legal structure and the Citibusiness account you apply for.
The documents must be in English or Chinese and original.
The required documents will vary depending on the type of your business as well as the type of account.
To open a business checking account in Hong Kong, companies must pay HKD2,000, with additional fees depending on the chosen account.
Each account has different monthly maintenance fees and transaction fees.
The monthly fee may be waived if the account balance is above a certain amount.
The Citibanking account has no minimum balance requirement. There is no monthly fee for local clients, but a fee of HKD 400 is applicable for international clients.
The Citi Priority account requires a minimum balance of HKD 500,000 and offers no monthly fee for local clients. A fee of HKD 400 if applicable for international clients.
The Citigold account requires a minimum balance of HKD 1,500,000. A fee of HKD 300 is charged for local clients and HKD 500 for international clients.
All accounts have free incoming payments, while outgoing payments incur different fees depending on the account type and method used. The highest charges for sending payments can be as high as HKD 220.
To access more details or apply for a Citibank business account, click here.
Statrys offers the flexibility of 11 currencies through a single account number, which makes it unique. Some of the features offered by Statrys multi-currency business account are:
— A EURO IBAN account for sending and receiving money in Europe through the SEPA network.
— Virtual and physical Mastercard payment cards with controls and limits to manage business expenses.
— FX services with competitive exchange rates, including spot and forward contracts.
— Transaction fees are cheaper than those charged by traditional banks.
— Dedicated account managers who offer 100% human customer support for clients.
The application process takes around 5 minutes and verification takes up to 10 minutes. Within as little as three days, the account approval process is said to take place.
The companies registered in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the British Virgin Islands are eligible for this business account.
You should note that Statrys is not a bank, but instead, it is a licensed Money Service operator. However, it has received great reviews from Trustpilot, making it a trustworthy option.
As for the fees, given below are the fees charged by Statrys for their business account.
— Monthly fee: HKD 88
— Account opening fee: none
— Minimum deposit: none
— Maximum transaction amount: none
— Sending payments within Hong Kong: HKD 5
— Receiving payments within Hong Kong: none
— Sending international payments: HKD 75
— Receiving international payments: HKD 55
— FX fees: around 0.1%
To open an IBAN account, there is a monthly fee of HKD148. Incoming payments are free for SEPA zone transfers, while international transfers cost EUR35.
Outgoing payments have the same charges. Transfers between business accounts are charged HKD35.
The account comes with a free virtual card, and the first physical card is included with your business account.
There are no activation or top-up fees, and there are no fees for point-of-sale usage. However, there is a 1.99% fee for ATM withdrawals and a 1.5% fee for foreign currency conversion.
To open an account for local payments, the limit for each transaction is set based on the Market EOD Rate in the equivalent local currency.
— Payments in AUD to Australia cost HKD25
— Payments in INR to India cost HKD25
— Payments in THB to Thailand cost HKD35
— Payments in USD to the USA cost HKD25
— Payments in VND to Vietnam cost HKD50.
The maximum transaction limit for all these payments is USD 1,000,000. To access more details or apply for a Statrys business account, click here.
Airwallex is an online business account platform that provides its users with an easy and efficient way to manage their financial transactions.
With a global reach of over 130 countries and supporting over 50 currencies, Airwallex provides businesses with an affordable and flexible solution for their financial management needs.
One of the standout features of Airwallex is its competitive exchange rates.
With the ability to lock in exchange rates up to six months in advance. By doing so, businesses can have more control over their financial transactions and minimize their exposure to currency fluctuations.
Airwallex also offers a range of payment options, including bank transfers, credit card payments, and international wire transfers.
The platform’s intuitive user interface makes it easy to manage and track payments. The customer support team of Airwallex is available 24/7 to assist with any questions or issues.
Another advantage of using Airwallex is the ability to issue virtual and physical payment cards, which can be used for online and offline transactions.
With the option to set custom spending limits and restrictions, businesses can better manage their expenses and reduce the risk of fraud.
However, there are some limitations to consider when using Airwallex.
The platform charges fees for certain services, such as international wire transfers and currency conversions. These fees can vary depending on the transaction size and currency exchange rate.
Additionally, while Airwallex offers competitive exchange rates, it may not always offer the best rates for every transaction.
Airwallex offers transparent and competitive rates, which include:
— 0.5% to 1.5% FX markup on interbank foreign exchange rates.
— No fees for inbound transfers.
— Outbound transfers to local bank accounts in supported currencies are free.
— For outbound transfers in a non-supported currency, there is a $10 fee.
— For outbound transfers in a supported currency, there is a $10 fee.
— Card payments are subject to a fee of 1.5%.
— Cross-border payments to other Airwallex accounts are free
Please note that the fee structure may be subject to change and may differ based on the type of account or transaction.
Overall, Airwallex is a strong option for businesses looking for a reliable and efficient way to manage their financial transactions.
Airwallex provides a flexible and affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. This is possible through its global reach, competitive exchange rates, and range of payment options.
To access more details or apply for an Airwallex business account, click here.
Wise is a reputable London-based fintech company that provides global money transfer services across 80 countries.
It has over 11 million customers worldwide, making it one of the most trusted non-bank payment providers available.
Wise offers an open API for businesses to integrate with their accounts, making it easier to automate payments and workflows.
Businesses can also pay and receive money in over 70 countries with the best possible rates, thanks to Wise’s real mid-market exchange rate.
To open a business account at Wise, you must first have a legally registered company.
You must also provide essential details such as your business name, company location, and personal details of all stakeholders.
To set up a business account with Wise, visit their signup portal and follow the instructions provided.
Setting up an account takes just a few minutes, and Wise usually completes verification within 2 to 3 working days.
Opening a business account at Wise is entirely free.
There are only a few basic fees to consider, such as a fixed fee for sending money (which varies by currency), which starts at 65p (HK$6.89).
Additionally, if you hold more than €70,000 in EUR balance, you will be charged 0.40% annually.
There is also a one-time fee of £16 (HK$169.5) to receive account details for receiving currencies.
Wise is an excellent choice for businesses that require reliable and cost-effective international money transfer services.
Wise provides businesses with an efficient and streamlined way to conduct cross-border transactions. This is done through its transparent and low fees, the simple application process, and the real mid-market exchange rate.
To access more details or to apply for a Wise business account, click here.
All the information provided within this article is up to date and accurate at the time of writing this. However, there is a possibility of expecting changes in the information by the time you read this.
It is always better to know the complete information of a business account before applying for one.
That’s why I’ve provided links to each bank so that you can find more details or contact the bank’s support team.
There will be a second part in which I will discuss other banks in Hong Kong that are known to offer the best business accounts.
Having said that, I strongly hope you find the information to be useful while selecting a business account.
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