Bank Accounts

INTERSHORES I Match Business Needs With The Right bank. Get Ready Your Bona Fide Business Proof (Account Opening Tips Sharing)

In September 2017, Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued a warning circular to financial institutions for a more balanced approach in examining foreign investor application, being a good news to tightening requirements in recent years when the banking industry adopted the risk avoidance approach to simply reject non-residents applicants who may potentially hit the regulations of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).


Key Notes to Account Opening in Hong Kong

Bank does not entertain walk-in account opening. Make appointment with bank and be prepared.


Major directors, shareholders and bank signatory(ies) are required to physically meet the bank officer in Hong Kong (Know-Your-Clients Meeting).


At the meeting, question will be asked about your background, your business activities & operation, reasons for opening an account in Hong Kong, annual business turnover and in-ward & out-ward remittances mode, etc. Make sure you have:

1.    identity proof

2.    address proof (within 3-months, in English or Chinese)

3.    business proof (current proof for the company’s business)

4.    proof of business address (optional depending on the bank)

5.    your background information (CV) and/or business plan (optional, depending on your situation).


Banks look into totality of fact for account approval:

1.    Your nationality

If the applicants are from countries that perceive as “high-risk” such as sanction countries or countries that do not follow global AML/CFT standards, their applications are usually rejected.


2.    Your business nature

i.    High risk businesses such as oil or commodities trading (with no history) is considered by banks very carefully with reference to your history (your capability to do the business), parties and countries involved.  Large projects management involving national government approval such as infrastructure construction will go through substantial compliance review.  Some banks treat these as high risk businesses and stay away from their portfolio.

ii.   Too generalized business such as consultancy without specific details or investment holding with no details on the type of investment is too generalized for banks to approve an account.

iii.  Business activities relate to Hong Kong or China?  E.g. projects management that does not relate to Hong Kong nor China is highly likely rejected unless there are some other solid evidence/background to justify.

iv.   Activities require license. Financial advisory without license or soliciting public funds without Securities & Futures Commission ("SFC") license will be rejected by banks.

v.    Unrealistic businesses such as bank guarantee monetarization or financial instruments related or financial trading program will be 100% rejected by banks in light of the unrealistic businesses nature given the changing banking landscape all these years. 


3.     Your background vs your business activities

Your previous business activities are highly linkedq with your current business activities.  It is advised to introduce yourself properly at bank's KYC meeting.


4.    Your business model/activities

Inward & outward remittances look like funds parking, the company’s business model works as if it is a funds channeling tool with no substance or projects management for third party (ie. holding third parties funds) without sufficient details to justify is unlikely approved.


5.    Physical operation in Hong Kong

Do you rent an office, do you employ staff in Hong Kong.  Reasons not to have them.


6.    Reason(s) to open a bank account in Hong Kong

“I simply want to have an account in Hong Kong” approach is no longer a good reason that you need an account.   You should think of your solid reason(s) that there is a real business need of bank account in Hong Kong from the bank’s perspective.


Bank keeps application records for at least half a year depending on the bank's policy.  Do not risk to go around with banks to simply “try” to open an account.  Your name will be officially kept in their bad records if the application is not successful.   This will put yourself in an disadvantage in your next submission.



In order to secure bank account in Hong Kong, matching your business needs with suitable banks is the key to success.   There are options in account opening in Hong Kong: try your own way or seek professional service in an organized manner.   As a professional practitioner for years, our team maintains good network with banks, get regular update on their latest appetite and have several years of experiences in account opening.  We can assist your banking needs.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at or by whatsapp at (852) 6499 4686.


Good luck to account opening! 


Whatsapp : (852) 6499 4686

Phone : (852) 2186 6936

Email :




Whilst reasonable care has been taken in provision of information above, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. INTERSHORES does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any error omission and accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use.  In particular, readers are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to any involvement in jurisdictions, vehicles or practice.










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