Opening a Bank Account

Understand what is needed to open a bank account in Hong Kong: what you need and where to go. Also information on how to use your account, and any costs that might be involved...

Some retail banks provide account opening forms, which can be downloaded from their websites. Requirements and criteria for opening an account vary from bank to bank. However, the standard documents needed for a savings or current account are:

  • Hong Kong Identification Card or passport
  • proof of Hong Kong address or address in home country
  • application form

Note: It is not necessary to be a resident in Hong Kong to open a bank account.

Using a Hong Kong Bank Account

Banks in Hong Kong provide similar services to those that can be expected from any major bank throughout the world. These include, but are not limited to:

  • savings and current accounts
  • direct debits
  • standing orders
  • currency exchange
  • money transfers
  • insurance and investment services

Telephone and e-banking are popular in Hong Kong and are usually free of charge. Many telephone services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Automated teller machines (ATMs) are abundant and located all over the city. In addition to withdrawing cash, there are ATM machines for paying bills, depositing cheques and depositing cash.

Cheques

Banks provide customers with cheque booklets with individual cheques containing standard information such as the account number, cheque number, payable to, the amount, date of issue, name and signature.

Note: Cheques are not widely accepted by merchants and retailers in Hong Kong.

Credit cards

Banks issue a variety of credit cards with different credit limits depending on the client's credentials and annual salary.

To register for a credit card, the banks generally require the following information:

  • proof of salary or salary statements for the last three months
  • proof of Hong Kong address
  • proof of Hong Kong ID or passport

Debit cards

Debit cards are issued to customers with either a savings or current account. Debit cards can be used to access accounts for the withdrawal of cash in place of a credit card at some banks and ATMs.

Banking Costs

Many banks charge fees to customers for the following services:

  • closing an account
  • inactive bank accounts with less than HKD 2,000
  • transfers
  • changing standing orders
  • overdraft service and fees depend on the type of account the client holds