Opening an account with a bank in Asia

The processes of global deoffshorization and anti-money laundering are forcing a change in approaches to the search for financial jurisdictions for opening bank accounts. Europe in some cases is an unacceptable option. Under certain conditions, banks in Asia, namely Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia, deserve attention.


Lawrange is ready to provide the necessary services for opening accounts in Asian banking institutions for Ukrainian, European, Hong Kong and offshore companies. We keep our finger on the pulse of changes and innovations in the financial sector, as well as possess the techniques for effective communication with bankers in the Asia-Pacific region. This ensures the achievement of the result, which means – your success!



Open a bank account in Asia for a foreign company

The selection of a bank is carried out based on the activities of the legal entity, location of counterparties, residency and other information of the beneficiary, planned cash flow, and so on. The partnership is supported only with prestigious and respectable banks that ensure the safety of funds and access to modern financial services.


Note! Asian banks are becoming an increasingly viable and competitive option for doing international business. Especially in light of the recent restrictions on non-residents from the Cypriot and Baltic banks.


Asian banks have established customer verification standards that are in line with global deoffshorization trends. Compliance procedures are rigorous. However, with the appropriate experience, they can be successfully completed. Banking institutions request:

  • who the client is working with;
  • why do you need an invoice;
  • how he fulfills his tax obligations;
  • where the money is sent to.


Now the reputation of the bank is influenced by the reputation of each client. At the initiative of FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Agency under the US Treasury), many banks were closed and fined millions of dollars. Nobody wants to be next.



Open an account in a bank of Asia for a Ukrainian company


Opening a corporate bank account in Asia makes sense if you are serious about doing business in this region. First, we are talking about import-export with China. Secondly, about the development of projects in the field of IT, high-tech and innovative developments in Singapore and Hong Kong. Thirdly, about a number of other areas. Without a presence in the region, opening an account with an Asian bank for a Ukrainian company is an almost impossible task.


Based on this, the procedure for opening an account often involves registering a company in the selected state of the region, as well as providing evidence of commercial activity there. Alternatively, we can talk about opening a branch of a Ukrainian company.


For your information! Along with an application to the bank to open an account, it is necessary to prepare an impressive package of documents, including a business summary – a concise description of business activities, indicating counterparties (partners, suppliers, customers) in the Asian region, as well as plans for financial performance. It is necessary to confirm the presence of an office, and for trading companies – warehouses.



Opening an account with an Asian bank: basic information


Banks may refuse a potential client to open an account without even explaining the reason. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully study the application to the bank along with the package of accompanying documents. What matters is both the correct filling of the questionnaires and the correct communication with bank managers. Lawrange experts can provide the necessary support in solving these problems.


For your information! Chances of success are increased:

  • when doing business, having counterparties in the Asia-Pacific region and Southeast Asia;
  • when included in the package of documents letters of recommendation from Asian partners, a list of such partners (names of companies with addresses, websites, contact details), invoices and others similar documents showing business activity in Asia;
  • when making a security deposit, the size of which varies in different banks (in case of refusal to open an account, the deposit is returned).


The package of documents for opening an account contains the following components:

  1. set of constituent documents;
  2. personal documents for beneficiaries;
  3. financial reports, documents on the company’s economic activities;
  4. confirmation of the financial soundness of the beneficiaries.


When opening an account for a legal entity face banks predominantly insist on a personal visit. As a way out of the situation, Lawrange JSC offers a service fiduciary account opening . We are talking about issuing a power of attorney for our representative, who further acts on behalf of, on behalf of the client. The fiduciary takes steps in the interests of the firm by having the right to sign. At the same time, he is a resident of the state of opening an account, which makes it easier to achieve a result.


Is it possible to open an account in Asia for a non-resident remotely? Yes.

How long does it take to open an account in Asia? Varies from 2-3 weeks to 3 months.

Can I submit applications for opening an account with several banks at once? Yes.



How to open a Hong Kong bank account?

In 2020, Hong Kong ranked third in the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) as one of the most competitive financial jurisdictions on the planet. The concentration of banking institutions is very high – more than 70 international banks have their representative offices in Xianggang. Customer service is carried out to the highest standards.


For your information! A Hong Kong bank account is an undoubted factor in increasing the prestige of international business. However, it is rather difficult to open such an account. It will take a lot of time and money. In this case, a number of specific nuances should be taken into account:


  • the relationship of the company with Hong Kong and China is crucial, the beneficiary can be a resident of any country, but the director and employees are desirable to be local;
  • the reputation of the countries with which the company’s future business will be connected is important – the post-Soviet countries are marked as risky, and this risk is above average (some banks have internal regulations for checking potential customers from post-Soviet countries);
  • it is imperative to prove the reality of the business, for example, if it is an export-import activity, then bank representatives request transport and customs documentation, confirmation of membership in chambers of commerce and other evidence of the official nature of the company’s activities.



Features of remote account opening

In addition to the option involving a fiduciary (authorized agent), some banking institutions allow a completely remote account opening procedure. Instead of personal meetings, communication is carried out in the mode of videoconference. In addition to standard checks (identification) of potential customers as part of compliance with KYC and AML / CTF rules, banks in Hong Kong implement their own compliance protocols.


For your information! To open a corporate account in Hong Kong remotely interviews are practiced in the form of a video conference of bankers with all beneficiaries and shareholders who own from 10-20% in the business, as well as with directors.



Documents for opening an account in Hong Kong:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Notarized copies of IDs, proof of permanent residence (for example, utility bills) of the participants.
  3. Company documents (business registration certificate, Articles of Association, etc.).
  4. Proof of business activity: invoices, agreements (contracts), corporate website, etc.
  5. Statements from accounts in other banks – six months in advance.
  6. Description of the business model, the company’s business plan for the next few years.
  7. Letters of recommendation from other banking institutions, from counterparties.


*** Note: Banks reserve the right to request additional documents during the verification period. In case of refusal to open an account, a repeated request by banks is not provided.



Opening a bank account in Hong Kong by Lawrange

Banks to choose from: HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, BOC, Dah Sing Bank or OCBC

The cost of opening one account: negotiated individually

Terms of opening: 6-8 weeks

Ability to work with USD, EUR and other currencies in all banks


*** Note: The application can be submitted to one of the indicated banks or all at once to increase the chances of getting a positive answer. On an individual basis, bank representatives can schedule a personal meeting with the director or shareholder. The processing time for a package of documents before an appointment (interview) is about two weeks.



How to open a bank account in China?

If, for certain reasons, there are difficulties with opening an account for a Hong Kong company in a Hong Kong bank, opening such an account in China may be a way out of the situation. In some cases, it would also be advisable to open an account in a Chinese bank for a European or offshore company.


Note! The combination of a Hong Kong company with a bank account in China is a good foundation for making international payments in the future. Banking institutions in some countries are wary of recipient companies in cases where they have significant discrepancies in the jurisdiction of registration and opening an account. Hong Kong is an administrative unit within the PRC. A Hong Kong business with a bank account in China will not raise any questions.


Among the features and advantages of Chinese banks:

  • huge assets – trillions of yuan, and huge net profit – tens of billions of yuan annually;
  • almost any Chinese bank is backed by the state, which ensures stability for depositors;
  • following the traditions of confidentiality – although China signs international agreements on the exchange of banking data, the attitude towards them is often formal, it is much more difficult to put pressure on Chinese banks from outside than to banks in other countries.



Documents for opening an account in China:

  1. Application form.
  2. Notarized copies of IDs, proof of addresses (eg utility bills) of participants.
  3. Company registration documents, Articles of Association.
  4. Documents confirming the structure and activities of the enterprise.


*** Note: Banks reserve the right to request additional documents during the verification period. If additional documents are requested, the time for consideration of the application increases.



Opening an account in the Chinese bank OCBC by Lawrange

Cost of opening one account: from 1000 EUR, agreed upon upon request

Possibility of opening an account for a company registered in Hong Kong (LTD), Great Britain (LTD, LP), the Virgin Islands and the Seychelles. Specify other jurisdictions upon request.

Time for consideration of the client’s application: from 1 month


*** Note 1: According to Global Finance, OCBC Bank is in the TOP-50 of the best banks in the world. OCBC’s banking network unites more than 100 representative offices, branches and offices, including in Hong Kong and Macau.


Note 2: During the quarantine period, remote account opening is allowed. But on condition of a mandatory visit to the bank for two months.


OCBC bank rates:

  • Opening an account 1,200 HK – 130 EUR
  • Minimum average monthly balance 50,000 HK – 5400 EUR
  • Minimum balance $ -1,000
  • Monthly banking service – 2 $



How to open a bank account in Singapore?

According to the World Bank, the city-state of Singapore came second in the Ease of Doing Business rating. The country’s banking system includes more than 120 banking institutions that are integrated into the international financial network. The banks operate under license, regulated by law and monitored by the Monetary Authority (MAS).


Singapore banks are ready to provide world-class corporate accounts along with innovative services. In the international business environment, the opinion is gradually taking root that an account in one of the banks in Singapore is a good substitute for accounts in prestigious Swiss banks.


For your information! Among the advantages of opening an account in Singapore:

  • political stability and high rates of economic development of the country;
  • provision of modern banking services, convenient Internet banking, money management services, and so on;
  • trust in the banking system of the country on the part of many representatives of international business;
  • the ability to open an account remotely;
  • works with most currencies of the world.



Features of remote account opening

According to general rules, you can open a corporate account in Singapore remotely for a resident. However, such a service is also available for non-residents for trade transactions, storage of savings, investments, provided that the economic connection with the jurisdiction is proven.



Documents for opening an account in Singapore:

  1. Set of incorporation documents (depending on the jurisdiction of registration).
  2. Notarized directors and UBO (beneficiary) IDs, address proofs (dated last 3 months), example utility bills.
  3. Description of the business activities of the enterprise.
  4. Evidence of business activity: contracts with counterparties for incoming-outgoing payments.
  5. Inquiries on the company’s accounts with other banks for the last three months.
  6. Biographies (CV) of the director, shareholder, beneficiary.
  7. Confirmation of the presence of contractors in Singapore (will be a plus, but not a mandatory requirement).



Opening a bank account in Singapore by Lawrange

Selection of the best option for opening an account is carried out on the basis of the information provided about the company. In order to minimize the risks due to the refusal to open an account, Lawrange OJSC offers a service by prior agreement of the client’s candidacy in the banks of Singapore.


Applications are submitted to all banks with which Lawrange cooperates. Our experts carry out preliminary approval for opening an account free of charge. When we obtain prior consent and acceptance from the bank, our client pays for our services. Next, we open an account.


Banks to choose from: DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, RHB Bank, UOB Bank

The cost of opening one account: check upon request

Time for receiving a preliminary response: from 10 days

Terms of opening: from 15 working days

Remote opening capability


*** Note 1: The cost of opening an account does not include the bank’s commission for activating an account, issuing a digi-pass, sending documents, related banking services.


*** Note 2: According to international financial ratings, DBS, OCBC and UOB are among the top banking institutions in Asia Pacific.



How to open a bank account in Malaysia?

In light of the recent events that follow from the implementation of international programs to combat money laundering and combating terrorism, Banking institutions in Malaysia should also be considered as a convenient option for opening an account on a European, Hong Kong or an offshore company. Under certain conditions, remote account opening by non-residents is allowed.


Among the banks where a non-resident can open a corporate account are Maybank, RHB Bank, Ambank, CIMB, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Public Bank Berhad. Achieving a successful result is facilitated by such factors as the presence of local counterparties, the most complete disclosure of information about the company, the correct filling of forms, and so on.


For your information! When considering the prospects for opening an account, it is sometimes advisable to pay attention to Labuan, an administrative unit within Malaysia with a special status. It is quite possible to open a corporate account in a Labuan bank remotely.



Documents for opening an account in Labuan:

  1. Completed bank forms.
  2. Notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Association.
  3. Certified copies of the founders’ passports, as well as proof of residency (permanent residence).
  4. Description of the firm’s business activities and the reasons for opening an account.
  5. Confirmation of the legal origin of the capital.


*** Note: Banks may request additional documents. All documentation provided must be no more than six months old and include the name of the company, registration number, names of shareholders, directors, and a description of business activities.



How to open an Asian bank account?

When opening accounts in this region, it often uses the pre-approval procedure for a potential client – pre-approval . At the request of the client, applications are sent by us to several banks at once.


At the pre-approval stage together with the application, the bank is submitted electronically:

  • business summary – a short description of the company’s activities;
  • list of contractors – names of companies that are suppliers and customers;
  • office and warehouse address, as well as the path of movement of goods (if the company is a trading company);
  • financial performance of the company: previous and planned;
  • the main points regarding the professional activities of the beneficiary – confirmation of his competence.


Attached to the description of the company:

  1. copies of corporate documents (in particular, showing the business structure) with translation into English.
  2. KYC documents for beneficiaries, signers, directors, shareholders, secretaries:

– passport,

– resume,

– proof of residential address (utility bill),

– bank reference letter;

  1. copy of the Good Standing certificate (for companies less than one year old from the date of registration).


If at the pre-approval stage the candidate of a potential client is approved, a personal meeting or an interview in the remote mode of the beneficiary is scheduled with a bank manager. You should prepare for such an interview:

  • company presentation;
  • ownership and cash flow diagrams;
  • business cards, advertising materials of the company (to confirm business activity);
  • contracts and invoices with contractors and / or correspondence with them, audit reports;
  • office and warehouse lease agreements.


The client fills in and signs standard bank forms. The bank then proceeds to the final stage of customer verification, during which the following may be requested:

  • bank statements of beneficiary and signatory;
  • confirmation of the sources of capital origin;
  • copies of licenses (if the company is engaged in an activity requiring licensing).


For your information! Account activation often occurs after making an activation deposit, which, depending on the jurisdiction and the bank, varies from USD 10 000 to USD 100,000.


So that new development prospects appear for your business, Lawrange will help you resolve the issue of opening an account in one of the prestigious banks in Asia.