Copyright © 2013 - 2018 Tai Pan Management Services Ltd., Company Service Provider Licence No. TC004077 , Registered in Hong Kong. No 1942748.
Would you like to incorporate a new
Hong Kong Company ?
Do you need banking facilities for a Hong Kong company?
Previously, companies incorporated in Hong Kong were able to open accounts at a number major banks in Hong Kong. However, for the last couple of years, opening a conventional bank account in Hong Kong has become almost impossible due to stricter banking regulation.
Now, generally, only local and known customers can open conventional Hong Kong bank accounts. Over time these rules (and their effects) may be relaxed, but for now, generally, foreign owned and/or managed companies cannot open accounts with any mainstream bank in Hong Kong.
This leaves those establishing a Hong Kong company with two alternatives:
1. A conventional bank account outside Hong Kong.
2. An E-Wallet account either international or Hong Kong based.
E-Wallets or e-Money operate in a similar way to Pay Pal, except they are much more suitable for ‘normal’ businesses. Depending on the provider you can expect some or all of the following:
• An online account, often operated by a mobile phone app, which provides a dashboard from which all other provider’s services are operated.
• One or more bank account numbers (with a recognised bank) into which payments can be received to directly and/or from which outgoing payments can be made.
The ability to both make and receive payments to other account holders - often completely free of charge.
• One or more pre-paid debit cards often in US$, € or £. These can be topped up from the dashboard, used just like a normal bank card e.g. Internet, shops and ATM withdrawals.
• Merchant services - the ability to collect payments from your customers similar to Pay Pal. Apart from the ‘shopping cart’, pay-by-link is also supported by some providers whereby you send an invoice and a payment link (by email) to your customer and they settle by clicking the link and entering their credit card details.
• Foreign exchange. A number of the providers offer very good rates for converting currency - far better than the banks.
It is rare for one provider to offer all the required services and we would often recommend to open two accounts with different providers to get the best combination of services. Best of all, it is almost always free to open an e-Wallet account although some services e.g. prepaid card will incur a modest fee.
The huge advantage of e-Wallets / e-Money accounts is that they can be opened very fast. Like all financial institutions they do need to identify their clients but this usually done via dashboard in stages. Provided the information requested and given is complete, you can expect a corporate account an operating account in little more than a week. Personal accounts are often confirmed almost instantly.
We offer consultancy service in which we provide you with a summary of the options and a guide of what you need to do. If you are interested in an e-Wallet or e-Money account, please contact us.
However useful an e-Wallet account is, there may be situations where a conventional bank account is required. Hong Kong banks are now extremely difficult to open accounts with. You would need to visit the bank, possibly more than once, show your connection to Hong Kong and have no guarantee of success.
Hong Kong companies can of course open accounts outside Hong Kong. We work with banks in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Cyprus. Our web page at International Formations website gives full pricing information.
Singapore probably remains the ideal location to maintain a bank account for a Hong Kong company. As with Hong Kong, requirements have become tighter in recent years and the bank we work with, OCBC, require a detailed reason as to why they (Singapore) should offer banking facilities. At a minimum OCBC will require a local presence (a virtual office which we can offer) together with an explanation as to the company’s intended connection with Singapore e.g. that new business is being sought in the country.
Malaysia Our relationship with OCBC (a Singapore bank) enables us to offer banking facilities in Malaysia. The advantage over OCBC Singapore is that the opening deposit is much lower - RM 50,000 and there is no minimal balance requirement to be maintained. The bank also offers multi currency accounts and full on line banking.
Mauritius is one of the few offshore centres still offering banking facilities. We offer 3 banks in Mauritius - Afrasia, ABC and Bank One. In all three cases bank maintenance charges are minimal although the cost of transfers is a little higher than average. Both banks offer efficient Internet banking and in the case of Afrasia debit cards are available in US$ and Euros.
Europe, through the European Central bank is trying to make it very hard for European banks to offer banking facilities to non-European companies. There are also measures to prevent ‘Shell’ or ‘Brass-plate’ companies from obtaining banking facilities within the E.U. These measures are primarily aimed at the typical zero tax IBC jurisdictions e.g. BIV, Panama, Belize etc. In order to open bank account it has to be shown that the company has real substance e.g. office, telephone number and/or employees. We can offer workable solution for this. We can offer banks in Cyprus and Switzerland.
How can we help with banking facilities?
We can assist with both conventional bank account and also E-Wallets, including one which is Hong Kong based.