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Banking advice for those moving to Hong Kong!

(6 Posts)
citychick Mon 13-Jun-16 04:51:19

Hello to those of you moving to Hong Kong. Welcome!

I just wanted to share with you and vent my frustration my experience of attempting to open a bank account in HK.

Firstly, let me tell you, it is not easy! Banks here are very tricky to deal with, and even the long term expats I have spoken with, have expressed their annoyance.

So, here is my offering on this subject. Please note, this is based on my experience and no one else's. And I have only dealt with HSBC.

You will need
passport
HK ID card
Proof of HK address
Proof of UK address ( I know this is ludicrous, but they request it)
Proof of employment contract with your name and HK address on it.

You need to ensure that your name is written correctly on all correspondence. Anything with a wrong letter will NOT be accepted.
I ran into trouble because I am in HK under my maiden name on my passport. BUT my UK proof of address on my driver's license is in my married name...and that has caused me months of hell.

If you are using a phone bill as you proof of address, they need the company stamp, or chop as they call it, as proof that it is not a fake. it also needs to be less than 3 months old (should not be a problem).

If your partner already has an account with your bank of choice, you can (with HSBC) ask the person behind the desk if they can sign a piece of paper stating that you live with your partner and are living at the address stated.

I could have arranged for DH to sign a piece of paper stating that my income can be deposited into his account and that he is not liable for any tax on that income. I did not do that, so can't say how that might work out, but I have heard this is possible.

I am expected to keep a minimum of HKD5000 in the account at all times and if I dip into that I will be charged HKD60 for using my own money.
I am not requesting a credit card and this is a basic account.
I have been working for months and have yet to be paid due to having no bank account!

I have no idea how it will work if you already have an HSBC account in the UK and open your HK account from there. BUT I would not be at all surprised if you need to go thru all admin again.

Want to open a business account? Good luck with that. I have friends struggling with this too.

There is so much fraud and hot money moving around ( from mainland China at least) that banks do not seem to discriminate between wealthy mainlander and honest expats on HK island.

This is my experience only, I just wanted to pass on what I have been thru and maybe find out the experiences of others in HK and around the world.

Good luck. You will need it. grin

PetrovaFossil1 Mon 13-Jun-16 05:41:28

I had the same issues. Nightmare.
Also caused no end of trouble that my proof of address didn't include my middle name.
4 years later all my bank dealings have not improved at all either!

citychick Mon 13-Jun-16 08:02:30

it is a shocker. i have been in to hsbc countless times and each time there has been a problem with my paperwork or they say they are still considering my application. i was there again this lunchtime and apparently it will take another month to process. FFS

KeyserSophie Sun 26-Jun-16 02:23:22

Too late for you, but if anyone is else reading this: The best way to do it is to open the account while you're still in the UK. You can do this if you already have a UK bank account with them.

Just go in the UK branch and say you want to open a HK account. They will do it for you. When you get to HK you then just have to go and pick your card up from the nominated branch.

Kuriusoranj Sun 26-Jun-16 03:12:07

I don't know if you would have so much trouble with other banks, but HSBC is absolutely notorious for this kind of administrative crap. I know so many expats (me included) with similar tales of woe. We were long-time HSBC Premier customers in the UK and it didn't help at all.

Tworingsandamicrowave Sun 26-Jun-16 16:55:27

Oh hell! Moving to HK in July 😕

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