Proven Tips on How to Get Ready for Bank Appointment in Hong Kong
Your Hong Kong company has been incorporated, and now you need to open a corporate bank account. Business banking account requirements have recently grown more strict in HK, and the process more complicated. You must therefore provide all required documents and information.
Startupr has extensive experience in bank account opening and liaising, particularly with banks in Hong Kong. Consult our tips on preparing for a successful bank appointment.
Please be aware that Hong Kong banks’ due diligence processes are highly difficult due to stricter requirements. Some of our clients still enjoy successful bank accounts openings.
- Schedule the Appointment Well in Advance
Very few walk-in appointments are accepted in Hong Kong for opening business accounts. You must schedule your bank appointment beforehand. We recommend these banks: DBS, HSBC, Bank of China, and Citibank (see a full list here). Startupr can also help schedule appointments with the following banks: Hang Seng, OCBC Wing Hang, and Standard Chartered. However, please understand we must schedule at least 20-25 working days ahead of the appointment to receive bank confirmation. Simply let us know the dates and times you’re available and we’ll make the appointment.
- Prepare Company Documents
At the meeting, a bank officer will ask for the following documents:
- Certificate of incorporation
- Business registration certificate
- NNC1 form
- Articles of association
- Certified Proof of source of funds and/or source of wealth
- Certified Proof of registered address – should be the same address as submitted for company incorporation, and no older than 3 months.
- Certified Proof of business operating address if different from registered address – should be the same address submitted for company incorporation, and no older than 3 months.
- Certified Internet undertaking, such as a contract with webhost if company is offering online services/business.
- One page summary of the nature of your business.
The same documents will be required for each corporate director, major shareholders, and/or beneficial owners.
We will also need KYC documents (see below) for all individuals in the company, including includes directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners.
Incorporation documents certified by our accounting/auditing service may be obtained from our offices (all documents will be certified by CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
- KYC (Know Your Customer) Personal Documents
- Certified passport copy
- Proof of residential address (no older than 3 months), and your physical/residential address). Utility or phone/cable bills, etc., either original or notarized copies, are normally acceptable.
- Bank reference
- A letter from lawyer or notary that no related parties have not contravened any financial crime laws in their country of residence;
The bank will also need KYC documents for all company principals, including directors, shareholders, and beneficial owners.
- Supporting Documents
- Business Description of your HK business– business nature, your experience in the field, etc.
- Proof of business – the following documents are acceptable as a Business proof: business sales contract, partnership contract, purchase order, business license, invoice (the company may issue invoices once it has been incorporated. Any invoice helps demonstrate actual business engagement.)
- Proof of experience – Directors’ previous relevant work experience proof (such as previous employment contract, business cards.)
- A dated, signed statement on company letterhead, naming directors and/or principal shareholders.
- Copies of agreements with suppliers, if any.
- A bank reference letter issued by a bank where you currently have a business or personal account will be helpful. The letter should include the name and ID or passport number, proof of transaction with the bank, contact information, stamp of the bank (if any), and signature of a bank officer. Any business certificate and incorporation certificate from a previous company you’ve owned and/or controlled is also beneficial.
Compose and print a brief, one page summary of your HK business for the bank officer.
- Minimum Balance
The minimum balance for corporate accounts is $ 50,000 HKD, or its equivalent in other currencies. This minimum balance must be deposited/credited into the account within 4 weeks of opening, otherwise the account will be automatically closed. Note that accounts with balances falling below this minimum will be charged $120 HKD for that month. The fee is waived for accounts with balances continually $50,000 HKD or above.
Bank interviews normally take 25-30 minutes.
Some business accounts are opened the same day, while others take up to 15 business days, depending on particulars.
Certification rule – All documents not in the original must be properly certified by an independent entity such as a notary, lawyer, bank, or chartered accountant. The bank will require the name and contact details of each certifier.
Translation rule – All documents in a language other than English and Chinese must be translated, with the name and contact details of the translator included. If the translator and certifier are registered, with website addresses, this simplifies any subsequent web search/verification.
Any shareholder holding 10% or greater of the company’s shares must be present during the bank meeting.
If the company has multiple directors, a proper quorum should be present at the meeting. Startupr recommends all directors attend.
BANK ACCOUNT OPENING DISCLAIMER:
Be aware that banks reserve the right to decide whether to open a specific company account. Startupr itself is neither responsible nor liable for any bank’s decision.