The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular earlier this month in which they warned all financial institutions to be more balanced when examining foreign investor applications for Hong Kong corporate bank account opening and other related services. They also said they will be conducting spot checks to ensure that official banking guidelines set by them are being met.
Meanwhile, to further help facilitate bank opening for foreigners, the HKMA has also compiled a list of banks willing to reach out to foreign SMEs and startups through InvestHK. Foreign investors can approach InvestHK directly to enquire about the list.
In recent years Hong Kong banks have tightened up their requirements for bank account opening, not only for foreign investors but local as well. The aim being to fight against tax evasion and to cope with the upcoming Automatic Exchange of Information (for more information see our article here).
The good news is the HKMA are obviously aware of the situation and are starting to take steps to resolve it. Hopefully, this will put some pressure on the banks, although it may take some time before we can see the benefits, if any, of these recent developments.