Hong Kong : No need to be a millionaire to open an offshore bank account

Once a self-governing British colony and a current Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong has been quickly transformed from a manufacturing-based economy towards a knowledge-based economy with a strong emphasis on international business and trade, financial services, offshore banking, and tourism. 

Transparent legal system and economic freedom

In the past decades, Hong Kong gradually implemented its prudent economic policy within a modern, fully transparent legal system to ensure a consistent economic and entrepreneurial growth, and the rule of law.

Its highest level of banking services, financial market openness, strong fiscal discipline, and business-friendly environment have been the backbone of Hong Kong’s achievement in keeping the first place at the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom.

The rapid economic development of the small East Asian country made it one of the major international business and financial hubs in the world and a preferred destination for offshore banking.

No need to be a millionnaire to open an offshore bank account

Contrary to the popular belief, you do not have to be a billionaire to consider opening an offshore bank account. The offshore banking industry in Hong Kong is highly competitive and it is accessible to anyone.

However, to better protect your assets and to choose the best option that fits your long-term needs, you may want to consult with a tax expert. Based on your individual case, the opening of a bank account may take up to six weeks. Multi-currency accounts are available on request.

157 licensed banks in Hong-Kong

One of the main benefits of setting-up an offshore bank account in Hong Kong is its solid banking system. Statistics have shown that the concentration of banks in the country is among the highest in the world. Nearly 70 of the leading international banks are currently operating here.

In addition to that, as of 2015, there were 157 licensed banks and 64 representative branches in the country

Renowned for its impeccable standards for market transparency, disclosure and strictly supervised financial institutions, Hong Kong was ranked third in the 2015 Z/Yen Group’s Global Financial Centers Index. Last but not at least, the banks in the country are well-known for keeping high standard of confidentiality.

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Offshore bank account and RMB

Having an offshore bank account in Hong Kong would be advantageous if you are developing a RMB business of any size. The local banks were first allowed to launch RMB businesses back in 2004. Since then the role of the country in RMB cross-border settlements have been rapidly increasing.

As the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) estimated, RMB was the fifth most frequently-used currency as of October 2015. According to the same source, Hong Kong was the main RMB hub handling more than 70% of payments in RMB worldwide.

Thanks to the RMB trade settlement scheme, the traders who are local bank account holders may get access a variety of additional services among which import invoice financing, special transaction costs in RMB deals, etc…

All about the Bond Program

An offshore bank account in Hong Kong would also give you access to the recently-launched government initiative called the Bond Program. The program aims to promote the domestic bond market and to expand international investors’ base of Hong Kong dollar bonds, and by regular issuance of government bonds.

Internationally recognized as one of the safest and reliable cities in the world, Hong Kong is an option worth considering when you aim to diversify your assets and to improve your tax situation.

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