7 Best Corporate Banks in Hong Kong & Other Fintech Solutions


Hong Kong’s progressive banking industry has transformed the city into one of the world’s most important business centers and financial hubs.

There are 194 local banks authorized to operate in Hong Kong and 42 local representative offices of foreign banks in the city.

These banks are regulated to protect customers and to ensure the stability of all banks operating in the city.

Are you an entrepreneur considering starting a business in Hong Kong? If so, this is a helpful guide to getting familiar with the banking sector in Hong Kong.

The article also includes an overview of the banking system in Hong Kong, the three types of banks, and a list of the best corporate banks in Hong Kong to consider if you plan to open an account.

Table of Contents

Hong Kong Banking Sector An Overview

Hong Kong Banking Sector: An Overview

Hong Kong is home to numerous international financial institutions. The city prides itself on being home to 70 of the world’s top 100 banks and a headquarter to 29 international banks.

The 3 Types of Banks in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the banking industry serves as the backbone of the financial system. This sector offers a broad range of financial services such as deposit-taking, lending, investment, and insurance.

Despite the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s banking industry remained resilient.

The 3 Types of Banks in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an international financial hub and is listed as one of the top ten biggest international banking centers in terms of volume of external transactions. Four main types of banks characterize Hong Kong’s banking system:

Licensed banks

These banks carry out banking business-related transactions as defined under Hong Kong’s Banking Ordinance, such as:

  • accept deposits.
  • provide current, checking, savings, or other similar accounts to customers.
  • grant loans, pay or collect cheques.

According to the Banking Ordinance in Hong Kong, licensed banks accept deposits regardless of the amount and maturity.

Licensed banks in Hong Kong can be incorporated inside or outside the city. Moreover, Hong Kong allows virtual banks and has categorized these virtual institutions as licensed banks.

Currently, there are 31 domestically licensed banks and 132 licensed banks incorporated in foreign countries.

Banks with restricted licenses

Restricted license banks refer to merchant and investment banking institutions. In contrast to a licensed bank, banks with restricted licenses cannot carry out certain banking businesses.

These banks can be incorporated offshore or within Hong Kong and may only accept deposits of no less than HK500,000 of any maturity.

There are 17 restricted license banks in Hong Kong, including 12 banks incorporated in the city.

Deposit-taking Companies

Deposit-taking Companies operate in connection with licensed banks and other banks incorporated offshore. These companies engage in consumer finance, commercial lending, and securities business activities.

These banks take deposits of no less than HK100,000 with an original term to maturity of more than three months.

As of this writing, Hong Kong is home to 13 deposit-taking companies incorporated within the city.

Best corporate banks in HK

If you are an entrepreneur looking to move to Hong Kong, you would like to plan and sort your finances. Below are some of the best corporate banks in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)

Despite the economic difficulties that hit both local and international businesses, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation remained one of the top corporate and investment banking institutions.

Best corporate banks in HK

The HSBC bank was founded in 1865 and currently serves 38 million local and international customers.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation provide personal, commercial, and corporate banking services to people and businesses in about 67 states.

As of 2020, HSBC has a net income of HKD 69.45 billion and total assets of HKD 9.42 trillion. HSBC bank operates four global businesses and offers the following services:

  • Commercial Banking
  • Retail Banking and Wealth Management
  • Global Private Banking, and
  • Global Banking and Markets.

Many high-net-worth individuals and investors prefer HSBC for its reputation for providing high-end banking services.

HSBC is worth considering if you are an entrepreneur looking to open a corporate bank account. The minimum deposit to open a checking or savings account at HSBC is $1.

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong)

Standard Chartered Hong Kong was founded in 1859 and now operates as a leading international banking group. The bank has expanded its business and offers services to over 60 markets worldwide.

Standard Chartered is the third note-issuing bank in Hong Kong and now has a net income of HKD 10.36 billion and total assets of HKD 2.46 trillion.

By introducing digital banking products and services, Standard Chartered bank became an attractive option for foreign investors.

Since 2019, bank account opening has become more accessible when Standard Chartered Bank allows its customers to open bank accounts remotely.

Standard Chartered Hong Kong should be on your consideration list if you are a fan of things digital.

Hang Seng Bank

Hang Seng Bank is a member of the HSBC Group. The HSBC group is considered the largest international banking and financial services.

The bank was founded in 1933 and has since provided customer-centric banking, investment, and wealth management products and services to its more than 3.5 million customers.

As one of the leading domestic banks in Hong Kong, it offers the following services:

  • wealth and personal banking
  • commercial banking
  • treasury and
  • private banking services

With a network of 220 branches, Hang Seng bank understands the importance of providing excellent customer service. The bank has a net income of HKD 16.69 billion and total assets of HKD 1.76 trillion.

Hang Seng Bank prides itself on being a pioneer of quality service and ensures that each banking customer receives personal attention and excellent services.

Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB)

Nanyang Commercial Bank (NCB) was founded in 1949 and established a strong foothold in HK with its customer-oriented and courteous service. The bank believed in the principle of building an excellent business reputation.

The Nanyang Bank currently operates as an international banking institution, catering to the banking needs of its customers in different parts of the globe.

This Hong Kong bank has a net income of HKD 3.82 billion and total assets of HKD 505.7 billion.

Currently, Nanyang Bank focuses on providing services to corporate customers, mainly trading companies. It also offers the following products and services:

  • commercial banking services
  • personal banking
  • corporate banking
  • asset management
  • treasury management, and
  • investment banking.

NCB also offers insurance products, including life, domestic helper comprehensive, home comprehensive motor vehicle, personal medical, outpatient medical, and personal accident insurances.

In addition to NCB’s comprehensive banking services, its banking customers can utilize the bank’s phone and Internet banking services.

CITIC Bank International

The CITIC Bank International was founded in 1987 and has optimized its products and services since then.

In recent years, the bank has been increasing its efforts to improve its customer base and income structure.

This investment bank has a net income of HKD 56.6 billion and total assets of HKD 9.74 trillion.

As a fast-growing commercial bank, CITIC bank offers full-service commercial banking and other financial products and services, such as:

  • Corporate banking
  • retail banking
  • risk management
  • financial markets
  • Investment banking services
  • Securities and trust

With its goal to accelerate its digital transformation, CITIC allocates resources to adopt Fintech innovation.

People looking for investment banking careers may find working with CITIC International as a way to start.

CITIC has been launching several first-in-the-market products, making the bank an appealing employer.

As one of the largest banks in Hong Kong, CITIC offers an environment for young talents to start a rewarding career in the banking industry.

DBS Hong Kong

DBS Bank in Hong Kong started its operation in Hong Kong in 1999 and is currently headquartered in the city’s Central District.

This DBS bank subsidiary provides consumer banking, SME, and corporate banking solutions. It has a reported net income of HKD 1.13 billion and total assets of HKD 360.4 billion.

Through the years, players in the world’s financial sector have recognized DBS as:

  • World’s Best Bank
  • World’s Best Digital Bank
  • Global Private Bank of the Year

As a bank founded and developed in Asia, DBS has the advantage of understanding the intricacies of doing business in the dynamic Asian market.

DBS is one of the best banks for corporate social responsibility for its role in promoting sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, one of the disadvantages of DBS bank is its high initial deposit, with normal savings of around HKD200,000.

Nonetheless, DBS remains one of the best international banks, and entrepreneurs who intend to open a bank in Hong Kong should consider the products and services of the DBS Hong Kong branch.

With its commitment to building lasting relationships with its customers, you will never go wrong with DBS Hong Kong.

OCBC Wing Hang Bank

The OCBC Wing Hang Bank was founded in 1937 in Guangzhou. In 1960, the bank was incorporated and granted a banking license in Hong Kong.

This bank currently provides corporate banking, retail banking, and treasury services and has a reported net income of HKD 2.88 billion and total assets of 312.2 billion.

A closer look at its Hong Kong operations shows that OCBC Wing Hang Bank runs five wealth management centers. In addition, it has a network of Hong Kong branches in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon,n and the New Territories

Corporate Banks in Hong Kong FAQs

Is Citibank Hong Kong considered the best private bank?

Citibank offers a wide range of products and services to local and foreign consumers. In 2019, the Global Private Banking Awards named Citibank the Best Global Private Bank. Some of the Citibank highlights that made it to the top of the list are:

  • Citibank Hong Kong has maintained its status as a premium bank for corporations and families
  • Its qualified products and services made it a common choice among ex-pats and non-residents
  • Offers consumer-friendly credit card products and services that make it stand out
  • Account packages that do not require monthly fees, annual fees, and ATM fees

Which bank account is best for corporate?

The Bank of China-Hong Kong (BOCHK) is the best bank account for corporate. The BOCHK is an excellent option for entrepreneurs planning to put up a business in Hong Kong.

With BOCHK, customers can access a wide range of banking services for businesses in any industry.

The Bank of China-Hong Kong has a network of branches and provides stable online banking to support businesses.

What is the biggest Commercial Bank in Hong Kong?

HSBC is the biggest commercial bank in Hong Kong, serving more than 38 million customers. The bank offers four primary services commercial banking, retail banking, global private banking, and wealth management.

What are the requirements for bank account opening in Hong Kong?

The requirement for bank opening in Hong Kong may vary depending on the customer’s citizenship and residency status. It is vital to prepare the documents required before attempting to open an account in any of the banks in Hong Kong.

Are you a non-resident looking to open an account in Hong Kong? Or are you an entrepreneur who wants to get away with the time-consuming part of opening a bank account?

There may be difficulties in setting up bank accounts in HK, and some banks may refuse applications.

Contact us so we can walk you through the things you need to consider when opening a bank account in one of the financial institutions in Hong Kong.

What is the advantage of opening an international bank?

Opening an international bank account has many advantages, especially for foreign investors looking to open an accounting without coming to Hong Kong.

In addition, with international banking, the account holder will have access to the account from any part of the world.

What are virtual banks?

In contrast to traditional banks with typical physical branches, a virtual bank delivers retail banking services through the internet or other electronic channels.

However, despite the virtual nature of services, the Banking Ordinance requires that virtual banks maintain a physical presence in Hong Kong to make it possible to deal with Hong Kong monetary authority.

Virtual banks are welcome to operate in Hong Kong as their presence in the city is believed to help promote the development of financial technology and innovation.

Wrap Up

As an entrepreneur, you want a bank that allows you to manage your funds flexibly. So, we’ve provided 7 of the best banks to consider when planning to open a bank account.

Contact ReachTop KSHK CPA Limited if you need assistance with opening a bank account in Hong Kong.

Book Your Free Consultation

All consultants are qualified Hong Kong company accountants and tax advisors.