Bank Account Opening in HK - Tiered Account Services
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the banking industry in addressing the issue of bank account opening and maintenance, the three note-issuing banks in Hong Kong have, with the support of the HKMA, introduced a new tier of accounts, namely – “Simple Bank Accounts” (or SBAs) for corporate customers to further enhance customer experience in opening bank accounts in Hong Kong.
SBAs are in essence a new tier of accounts derived from traditional bank accounts which focus on provision of basic banking services such as deposits, withdrawals, local and cross-border fund transfers, etc. With narrower scope of services compared to traditional accounts, the risks involved in SBAs would be relatively lower to banks, and hence less extensive customer due diligence (CDD) measures are required to be carried out at account opening. For example, banks may require less detailed information and supporting documents from applicants. The streamlined account opening process of SBAs aims to offer more choices and improve customer experience, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-up companies and companies from outside Hong Kong which are seeking to establish a presence in Hong Kong, when they do not require the full range of banking services generally offered by traditional bank accounts, cannot readily furnish certain CDD information or documents required for traditional bank accounts, and yet do not require the full range of services at the initial stage of banking relationships. SBA customers who require more comprehensive banking services in the future may upgrade their accounts to traditional bank accounts by completing the necessary CDD process. A link to an insight article issued by Mr Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA on the subject is appended for your reference ("Tiered Account Services: A New Initiative on Promoting Financial Inclusion").
The HKMA attaches great importance to the promotion of financial inclusion in Hong Kong, including addressing the issue of opening bank accounts by the business community. As you may already be aware, the HKMA has set up a dedicated email account (email@example.com) and hotline (+852-28781133) to handle any comment and feedback from the business sector and the community at large with regard to issue on bank account opening and maintenance.