Some banks have head offices in exclusive buildings, others have a regional office, and all of them are located in Central, the business district of Hong Kong. The largest and most visible of the banks is HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) which has branches all over the city and its own Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), as well as a subsidiary: Hang Seng Bank.
You will also see many local banks but because of language differences, many expatriates tend to use banks they are familiar with. The branches of these banks are conveniently located in big malls and main streets with ATMs and counter services.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Cashpoints (ATMs) are available at all times. You should avoid banks at lunchtime unless you have a lot of time to queue.
All banks in Hong Kong provide product information and account statements in English and Chinese. Major banks offer the services you would normally expect from a bank with international standing:
- savings and current accounts
- time deposit accounts
- foreign currency accounts (with no restriction on the inflows and outflows of currency)
- money transfers
- standing orders
- direct debits
- currency exchange (free for account holders, but restricted to certain branches)
- a range of investment and insurance services
Most banks provide insurance quotes online, as well as information regarding the Hong Kong stock market, investment vehicles and financial planning basics. You can plan the cost of your wedding, house move and much more with their online models.