Opening a Bank Account - Who with?

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  1. #1

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    Sep 2017
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    Opening a Bank Account - Who with?

    Hello!

    I have recently moved to HK from the UK and am looking to open a bank account.

    I will not be paid into this account as I will be working on a UK contract still and will be paid into my UK account.

    I am looking to open account in order for my expenses to be paid into it and for any local transaction and to withdraw cash.

    I will be transferring sums regularly from my UK account to my HK account for use. Will there be charges each time I wish to transfer money to my HK account?

    Which would be the best bank to open an account with for this?

    I currently bank with Barclays in the UK but also have a HSBC account which I do not use but is open.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Many thanks,

    Billy.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hong Kong
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    6,365

    Hsbc your better bet. Pay to have your local Hsbc open a bank account in Hk before you come. Saves headache. Guarantee you'll make several trips to the bank here if you want to open it in Hk. A nightmare!!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    north point
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    Your better bet is Citi rather than HSBC. Both banks' HK and UK offices operate on separate banking platforms so transfers are treated as a wire rather than an intrabank transaction. However the onboarding experience and on-going servicing at Citi is far superior than HSBC's.

    Case in point, when I first landed in HK from the US, I attempted to open a HSBC deposit account to collect my payroll, I had to pay 3 separate visits to the branch over the span of 2 weeks to submit various documents (sometimes duplicate documents). Around week 3 I hadn't heard back on the status of my account which made me very nervous as payroll date was coming up. I ended up going to Citi and got an account open in 4 days with only two total trips to the Citi branch.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    136

    I have heard good things about Citi from an ex-colleague who moved here a couple of years back but no personal experience.

    HSBC are a nightmare and charge for everything but have a very flexible internet banking platform that is relatively easy to use. Counter service slow because of huge queues and sometimes they simply can't explain why they won't do something for you and the apparent decision maker won't come to the counter to face you. Having said that I have been an HSBC customer here for 20 years and back then they were quite flexible (I could get a cheque account and a credit card without being a permanent resident).

    SCB have much fewer branches but if you are close to one then it could be good - I prefer their customer service who always have time to explain properly but often the same negative answer as HSBC. Their internet platform needs you to register accounts that you wish to transfer too - a pain but once you've done it works ok.

    BOC I struggled with because 20 years back they just weren't set up for dealing with foreigners and were typically inflexible and rigid with their rules.

    Any new account will be a pain because of all the anti money laundering and anti terrorism rules - large dose of patience is required.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by Soutie:

    SCB. Their internet platform needs you to register accounts that you wish to transfer too - a pain but once you've done it works ok.
    Just a comment on this. Nowadays you can just register the accounts online which takes 30 seconds
    So no pain at all.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hong Kong
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    Even if you're not premier with HSBC you can pay a fee I think US$100 and they'll open a bank account anywhere. Advanced I believe is US$50 and premier is free. Simply made a phone call in the states and hk cards and chequebook were mailed to me. With a credit card already opened. Then every other bank would give a credit card with that same limit too (although US limits are smaller compared to HK--many documents needed to get it increased).

    Hsbc can also use Hang Seng ATMs. They have them everywhere. Citibank has few ATMs and hate walking around in the heat to find an ATM and take out cash so I would stick with HSBC.

    Also easy to open accounts in other countries directly from HK. I've done that before--very efficient.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Sai Kung
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    4,155
    Quote Originally Posted by MandM!:
    Hsbc can also use Hang Seng ATMs. They have them everywhere. Citibank has few ATMs and hate walking around in the heat to find an ATM and take out cash so I would stick with HSBC.
    Not an issue as Citibank are part of the Jetco network which is pretty much every ATM except HSBC and Hang Seng which makes it the largest ATM network and fewer queues for withdrawal. Much easier to find while walking around in the heat..

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    HK
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    I use citi in Hk and at home as the international transfers are free and instant with decent rates for moving money back and forth.

    agree with others - HSBC in Hk should be avoided at all costs, citi are way easier to deal with


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5

    GMans

    ​HSBC is really a nightmare.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    1,174

    sorry stupid question, do you have HK passport? If not you can't work in HK without a contract, and have a visa as well.

    Anyway, I use Citi, they're alright. HSBC is just a pain to deal with and they've been closing or blocking accounts lately.


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