Currency and Exchange Rate

The Hong Kong dollar (HK$) is an internationally recognized currency, separate from China’s own currency. Major HK$ notes are: $100, $500 and $1,000 and; lesser HK$ notes are: $10, $20, $50. Coins issued are 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, HK$1, HK$2, HK$5 and HK$10.

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate of the Hong Kong Dollar is “pegged” to the U.S. Dollar. HKD$7.78 to the US$1. For an accurate exchange rate, see your nearest bank.

Banks / Opening a Bank Account

Main retail banks in Hong Kong offer cash withdrawal facilities for Visa and MasterCard through Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) operating as a 24-hour service throughout the territory. HSBC and Hang Seng utilize the global network ‘PLUS’. Standard Chartered Bank has an ATM network called ‘JETCO’.

For more information contact

Check your banks ATM machine for bill payment options. Utilities, Income Tax and Government services can be paid through an ATM machine.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) Tel: 2233 3000

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Tel: 3146 7499

Hang Seng Bank Limited Tel: 2822 0228

Citibank Tel: 2860 0333

Bank of China Tel: 3988 2388

Currency Conversions

Currency conversion websites to check up-to-date exchange rates.


Opening a HK Bank Account

Setting up a Hong Kong account is straightforward if you have the correct documentation in place. However, it can take more than a week to receive your checkbook for a checking account (referred to as a “current account” in Hong Kong). Therefore, we would recommend that you attend to this while you are on your initial home finding trip. Note that your credit card application is a separate approval process which can take longer.

In most cases, to open a bank account, you need the following documents:

  • Hong Kong Identification Card (your Temporary HKID will suffice)
  • Original Passport, if opening a joint account, you will need both passports. If you do not have a HKID and provide a passport to open the account, you will need to bring along a second type of identification such as a driver’s license.
  • Original recent proof of current overseas residential address. For example, bank statements or utility bills issued within the last 3 months from the country of origin with full name and home address specified. The name shown on the address proof must be the exact name as on the passport. Alternatively, in some instances, a valid photo-bearing National ID card or drivers license with full name and home address details included may be acceptable. Please note that a proof of address at a Serviced Apartment is not acceptable, even if it was previously your long-term residence.
  • You may also be required to provide an original letter from your employer that verifies proof of employment and your income (or a reasonable sum). This is a requirement for a Hong Kong credit card application.
  • It will be necessary to sign the forms in the presence of a bank employee; therefore, all relevant parties need to be present.
  • Normally there is a minimum initial deposit. You do not need to have the full amount with you at the time of opening the account for the higher service thresholds (refer to the respective bank websites) as long as you transfer within a short period of time.



Standard Chartered Bank


Account Type
Required Minimum Deposit (average per month)
Bank Charges

  • Basic

    Easy Banking


  • Personal Integrated

    Prefer Banking


  • Advance

    Priority Banking

    Citigold Private Client

  • Premier2

    Private Banking
    TBC (Tel:3983-9898)

1. If you are only looking to manage your day to day cash needs, we suggest you consider to opt for the Advance Account. While you do have to line up for service at a branch, there is a separate line for this service class. HSBC’s Premier Account is more of a private banking experience (you and the tellers are seated at desks), however, given the demand for this service, we often find the wait for service longer (however, they do have coffee available for you!). All of the accounts types have full online banking capabilities.

2. For HSBC Premier Accounts, Dwellworks can put you in touch with a Customer Service executive to make an appointment in advance. Please contact your Dwell works Relocation Consultant to arrange.

3. There are specific contacts available for the various Citibank account types. Please contact your Dwellworks Relocation Consultant for relevant contact details.

Writing a Check

Writing a check in Hong Kong can be a little more complicated than what you are used to at home. Bank staff often examine checks carefully for any irregularity; the slightest difference in signatures or any corrections will be questioned and returned for verification. Also, do not postdate checks. Use a black or blue ballpoint pen.

Checks generally need to be “crossed”. This means that two diagonal lines are drawn in the upper left-hand corner of the check usually to the left of your printed name. A crossed check restricts the check from being deposited into any account other than that of the payee. Additionally, the payee’s name must be written on the check exactly as it appears on his or her account. For instance, if you write a check to the “Happy Harry Company,” the check will not be accepted if the actual company name is “Happy Harry's Company Ltd.”

Bank Opening Hours

Bank Opening Hours

Regular banking business hours vary depending on the bank, but are generally 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Notice to those with U.S. Citizenship or Residency

On July 2014, Hong Kong joined the list of countries complying with the US Government legislation relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

FATCA mandates compliant financial institutions to disclose their account information to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All residents in Hong Kong with U.S. citizenship or U.S. residency status can expect additional documentation to be required to open a bank account and we advise you to contact the bank directly to understand their exact requirements.

Here is a helpful site from HSBC on the subject:

At a minimum, you will be required to provide:
1. Social Security Number
2. IRS Form W-8BEN
3. IRS Form W-9

These US IRD forms can be downloaded from: