The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched today (24 March 2017) a webpage on its website (http://www.hkma.gov.hk) and a dedicated email account (email@example.com) to receive comments and answer queries regarding opening and maintenance of bank accounts.
In recent years, international efforts in combating illegal activities including money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion have stepped up significantly. Banks across the globe have accordingly enhanced their control measures. The account opening process is now more complex and requires longer time as compared to five or ten years ago. In response, the HKMA has been working closely with the banking industry on the issue of “hard to open a bank account”. The industry has since introduced various measures to enhance transparency and improve customer experiences. Among these measures, banks have shortened turnaround time for account opening, provided interim updates on the progress of the applications, and launched review mechanisms to re-examine unsuccessful applications.
The newly launched HKMA webpage contains useful information about account opening and maintenance procedures, documentation and information requirements and contact details of banks. It also provides information on what banks should not do when processing account opening applications, and useful tips for reference of the unsuccessful applicants. There is also a “What’s New” section to provide updates of banks’ recent initiatives regarding account opening and maintenance. The HKMA webpage will be updated from time to time.
Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, says: “It has always been the HKMA’s requirement that, while following the requirements of international regulators and banks’ headquarters regarding anti-money laundering, banks should take into account the needs of the general public for basic banking services. The objective of the dedicated webpage launched today is to provide useful information about account opening and maintenance to the public, local and overseas businesses as well as other stakeholders. We welcome your comments which can be sent to the HKMA through the dedicated email account.”
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
24 March 2017