In a research by McKinsey revealed that more than 40 of the world’s 100 largest banks by assets are Asian banks and it accounts for approximately 50% of the market capitalisation by the top 100 banks globally. With rising incomes and the growing middle-class, emerging markets of Asia will continue as a major engine of growth in global banking. It is estimated that personal financial assets in the region will grow to $69 trillion by 2025, representing approximately three-quarters of the global total.
When it comes to offshore bank accounts in Asia, Hong Kong, and Singapore often top the list of countries due to its economic stability. Coupled with the fact that Hong Kong is the second-largest stock market in Asia and Singapore has been commanding substantial foreign investment and project financing activities in the Asia-Pacific region, it is no wonder that both Asian tiger economies are of top picks.
Hong Kong – Safe and Strong Economy
Hong Kong enjoys an ideal location in Asia that enables businesses to tap into a multitude of opportunities throughout the region. The special administrative region (SAR) is a common gateway into the 1.4 billion consumer power market in China and vice versa for Chinese mainland investors to invest in the market abroad.
Other than an efficient legal system, Hong Kong has a favourable tax system for businesses and an excellent infrastructure of telecommunication services. Hong Kong is also a premier international business and financial center with the highest concentration of banking institutions in the world that includes 75 of the world’s largest 100 banks with an integrated network of institutions possessing international standards. With such favourable conditions, Hong Kong undoubtedly is one of the preferred destinations for opening offshore bank accounts. HSBC, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, Standard Charter Bank are some of these banks in Hong Kong that you can consider.
Singapore – Top Offshore Bank Account in Asia
Singapore has an extensive system of more than 150 banks, of which 5 are locally incorporated and the rest foreign. Most of the banks provide world-class and top-notch corporate bank account facilities. Apart from a comprehensive range of banks to select from, sound business regulations and a high degree of transparency has lead the city-state to retain its place as second best on a World Bank ranking in the “ease of doing business” in 2020.
Besides offshore banking, Singapore also offers a wide range of services that meet multifaceted demands for both individuals and corporations. These services include multiple currencies, internet banking, checking accounts, savings accounts, debit and credit cards, wealth management services, and more. The high level of flexibility and convenience starts from applying to open a bank account as many banks in Singapore allow clients to establish their offshore bank account remotely. This is essential as it eases the banking experience for Singapore non-residents who wish to open an offshore bank account from abroad. As a global financial hub, Singapore is a top choice for most offshore investors around the world. OCBC, RHB, Citibank, DBS, UOB are some of the reputable banks that you can consider opening your offshore accounts.
Having said so, as the complexity and volatile economic situation evolves, and occurrences of financial crimes such as money laundering and fraud cases increases, even stricter bank governance and legislation were introduced over the remote opening of bank accounts. Without professional assistance, it can be challenging to open a bank account in Hong Kong and Singapore as the rigorous bank demands now stretch beyond the basic setup of the account. For instance, the account maintenance is vital because, with any minor negligence, it may result in the bank freezing or closing the account.
Conclusion – Is Hong Kong or Singapore a better destination?
Both destinations offer their specific benefits for operating an offshore bank account, but there are some questions to be asked before a decision is made.
What is the minimum deposit amount? Which markets do I want to access? What is the purpose of my account? Would I be open to visiting the country to establish the account?
Upon answering the above questions, individuals and business owners may come to their conclusion. However, it is still best to consult industry experts as there could be a more complex set of issues that may occur, such as tax filing as certain countries may require a notification to tax authorities in advance.
As a one-stop solutions provider, Desfran not only provides new market entry consultancy services, new market requirements like business incorporation and registration, bank account opening, marketing services, and regulatory compliance can all be fulfilled through Desfran’s bespoke solutions. We continuously stay on top of trends and movements in the financial industry to help your business growth by identifying, maximising your business potential while providing comprehensive customised solutions.
Contact Desfran today.