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Hang Seng Bank refused my company account request

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    10

    Hang Seng Bank refused my company account request

    Good evening guys,

    I hope I could find some feedback again in this merveillous forum. your tips are of great value.

    I am foreigner living in China with my Chinese wife. we are both shareholders of a new company & she is the director.

    So after establishing a Ltd Intl. trade & sourcing company in HK with the help of a secretarial company she has arranged for us an interview with Hang seng bank. we prepared all the documents she asked and went to HK for the interview.

    Yesterday we got an email stating that our application was unsuccessful and to refer to an online help service or give them call.

    We contacted our secretary to check with bank what was the issue and she did. her feedback was that our interview score was fulfilled and the documents score wasn't. that's it no more specifications from her. I asked her to check with bank again what went wrong and how to fix it. On other hand I wrote to the bank about my case and I'm still waiting for a reply.

    . if anyone had this kind of experience please advice me how to proceed.

    is it true that if the first application was denied we won't be able to apply the same bank again?.

    our secretary offered us an alternative solution which is paying her RMB6.8k (around HKD10k) so she can bribe someone to open the bank account for us within 3weeks with a condition to deposit HKD5万 as guarantee for 5 years and not use it before¿¿

    I didn't agree with her as our business plan is 100% ligit and I don't feel comfortable bribing a bank go open an account then working hard to fill that account with money that they will use. sounded absurd to me

    could it be possible that the secretary affected somehow our bank account opening application to corner us with her alternative plan?

    please advice us and share your experiences I'm kind of a big struggle now especially my clients are waiting for me to be ready to lunch our first operations

    thank you all in advance


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mediro
    our secretary offered us an alternative solution which is paying her RMB6.8k (around HKD10k) so she can bribe someone to open the bank account for us within 3weeks with a condition to deposit HKD5万 as guarantee for 5 years and not use it before¿¿
    Seriously? Go here:
    https://www.icac.hk/en/home/index.html

  3. #3

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    Oct 2018
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    she will remain my secretarial company in the end. I just need advices on how to proceed not send people to jail.


  4. #4

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    Jan 2018
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    982

    Ah, company account, how well I remember the joy of trying to open one....

    My HK native business partner and I were refused by many banks, including banks where each of us had longstanding personal accounts. Most would not even accept our application or interview us or anything- just NO. It was frustrating and depressing at the same time.

    Just keep trying with more banks- eventually Bank of China grudgingly took our account. It doesn't help that I am a US citizen, no one wants to deal with all the banking crap that entails and I can't blame them. Hell, we even tried Citibank (30 year Citibank credit card holder with impeccable credit), they practically threw us out on the street as if we were bank robbers.

    The Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce has even gotten involved in looking into this issue it is such a problem for new companies.

    I would ditch Hang Seng, move on to other banks. Just go in and keep trying, you will likely find someone to open an account for you. I needed some additional proof of something or other from the US and the whole process took TWO WEEKS....good times.

    Good luck to you!


  5. #5

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    I find this all a bit strange, our limited company bank account was set up at HSBC corporate banking in Shatin and we were all signed up on the same day, once we had the CI etc.

    We only had one bank meeting and it never crossed my mind that we wouldn't walk out without the account. Maybe they didn't like your type of business or American tax reporting was involved, they'll burn you instantly if they suspect (potential) money laundering too.

    Who knows really, but it does surprise me why some get such a difficult time at the Corp side of banking in HK, but for others, it's cups of coffee, lots of excited smiling and hand shaking after we signed and later deposited funds. Even I was energised lol

    I wonder what they don't like?


  6. #6

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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook
    I find this all a bit strange, our limited company bank account was set up at HSBC corporate banking in Shatin and we were all signed up on the same day, once we had the CI etc.
    How many years ago was this ?
    shri and jrkob like this.

  7. #7

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    1) The bribe offer is very dodgy. The company that suggests this needs to be done is not going to be an ethical partner in the long run. I'd be very wary of this outfit. You're setting ourself up very badly if you do this. Just repeating this, even though you said you're not going to do this.

    2) Your nationality might be a factor. Depending on your nationality and your wife's nationality there might be some red flags. Some banks may not like the combination / structure or something in your incorporation documents (articles?) which might be non-standard. Have you read your incorporation documents?

    3) I suggest you have a chat with Invest HK, they're a semi-govt outfit and may be able to recommend a way forward for you atleast in terms of finding a bank that is helpful to you - they help several companies and might have a better view of current issues than people on this forum.

    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook
    I find this all a bit strange, our limited company bank account was set up at HSBC corporate banking in Shatin and we were all signed up on the same day, once we had the CI etc.

    We only had one bank meeting and it never crossed my mind that we wouldn't walk out without the account. Maybe they didn't like your type of business or American tax reporting was involved, they'll burn you instantly if they suspect (potential) money laundering too.

    Who knows really, but it does surprise me why some get such a difficult time at the Corp side of banking in HK, but for others, it's cups of coffee, lots of excited smiling and hand shaking after we signed and later deposited funds. Even I was energised lol

    I wonder what they don't like?
    when was that? Certainly in not in the last couple of years. Things have changed a lot.

  9. #9
    Kiz
    Kiz is offline

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    Aug 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mediro
    our secretary offered us an alternative solution which is paying her RMB6.8k (around HKD10k) so she can bribe someone to open the bank account for us within 3weeks with a condition to deposit HKD5万 as guarantee for 5 years and not use it before¿¿
    This is crazy, first move is I would have nothing to do with this person and change company secretary asap (I would also report them, but fair enough if you don't want to). This is not normal in HK, and possibly your secretary has other less than desirable clients and has a reputation which may hurt you getting a bank account (it may not too). But they have shown you who they are, why would you want to have any relationship with your legitimate company?

    secondly, on Bank account. I got first company accounts easily 15 years ago. Got a real shock when new company a few years ago was crazily difficult to get an account. In the end managed to get one at HSBC which was a surprise. I would say, apply to lots of banks, if you get rejected then find out why, we found out what the issue was (one of our products was considered highly risky for money laundering, it wasn't a core part of our business plan more a possible expansion item in the future and so we omitted that on our future application and got it approved) so feedback is helpful.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    I had no problems at all opening a company account with DBS but that was about 15 years ago. My wife opened a company account with BOCHK four years ago and it wasn't too bad, although it did take a couple of weeks IIRC.

    I suspect it helps if you choose a bank with which you have an existing relationship.

    A definite no on the bribe - that's a criminal offence – and I would not do any further business with the person who suggested it.

    If it is just the "documents score" I'd suggest asking them to specify which additional documents they need. If they won't tell you, it suggests a deeper problem than some missing or incomplete paperwork.


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