1. Thanks for sharing this article!

    Commercial banking is a real embarrassment for Hong Kong…
    I had similar bad experiences when opening the bank account for my company a couple of years ago and can fully understand where you are coming from.

    Hope that articles like this one will bring banks like HSBC to finally improve their services.


    1. Hi Paul, good to hear that!
      Hope this will make things easier for you. In case you decide to try out Neat please let me know how it went as I would be interested to get insights from a user.

  2. I am a corporate service provider whose job greatly involves opening corporate bank accounts for our clients who setup companies with us. HK banking solutions are indeed nightmare and HK became the WORST place to open and hold a bank account even for established businesses, so there is simply no chance for start-ups, period.

    I don’t know why HSBC is listed here as second easiest bank to open when it is the most difficult to impossible. HSBC shut down more bank accounts than opened ones in the last few years. Hang Seng is under HSBC so the situation is same.

    DBS is indeed the easiest now however, because of that everyone is rushing to DBS in the last few months and thus they stopped bothering responding your inquiries because of the over flow of applications.

    So I don’t know as of today, September 2018, what is the best bank in HK to apply for a bank account but OCBC Wing Hang started opening up a little even you don’t have office presence in HK.

    Situation changes every month. Unless you have a great connection with their private banking section, or you are a listed company (not necessary in HK but in reputable countries) who setup a local company in HK, or you have tangible trading businesses with reputable partners in HK or in China (so that bankers recognize your partners and trading commodities), I’d say GIVE UP IN HK and move to offshore banks…

    Once you established transactions with offshore bank accounts to show banks in HK, with your audited accounting report or something ‘tangible’ even robotic compliance department understands its content and your business activities, ONLY THEN, you MAY apply a bank account in HK…and IF YOU ARE LUCKY, you MAY get one…

    That’s all I can say really…

    So yes, this Neat thing is really interesting… I will look into that.. thanks.

    1. Hi Maru,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective!

      I can see we have similar feelings towards Hong Kong banks. And you are right, this affects established companies as well, not only startups.
      If a business can operate without absolutely needing a local bank account, then it is for sure better to look for offshore alternatives. In my case this was not possible, so I had to find a way to get a bank account in Hong Kong.

      HSBC comes second in my “least bad banks” list because the other banks are even worse to work with. I started with BOC and later moved to HSBC. This felt like a small upgrade.

      If you happen to try out Neat, please let me know how it went and if you experienced any limitations for your clients. I also plan to try it out before the end of the year.

      And thanks for the insight about OCBC Wing Hang! I will look into this.


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