Opening Bank Account

This is where your monthly salary will be deposited, and is also necessary if you need to make cheques for various purposes. As HSBC is ESF’s preferred bank, staff with HSBC account will receive their salary deposit on the 20th of each month (this includes staffs who has Hang Seng bank account – a subsidiary of HSBC), whilst other bank accounts will receive the salary on the 21st. This is the only advantage for joining HSBC, and staffs are free to open accounts in any bank they wish.

On Induction Day, HR department will invite HSBC staff to come to the centre to set up bank account for you. (There will be special arrangements for staffs from RC and DC) Be sure to bring with you a proof of overseas address (electrical bills, tax return etc) as one of the requirement to open the bank account.  A letter for proof of employment will be prepared by HR, and if you have applied for interest-free loan, you may deposit the cheque with them as well on that day. Note that the money will not be available to withdraw until 3-4 days after HSBC has entered your information to the system and for the cheque to clear.

If you will arrive much earlier before the induction day, you may contact HR and go to our office in Quarry Bay to pick up your cheque and emplyoment letter so you can open the bank account earlier.

Below are some information for HK’s banking system.


The HK dollar is pegged to USD but fluctuates against other currencies.  Interest rates also tend to follow the US lead.  Setting up a bank account is easy and usually just requires your ID card and proof of an address.

The usual way to pay for things are:

  • Cash – Some vendors don’t like to take the $1000 note
  • Octopus – Contactless card you can get from an MTR station
  • EPS – (Electronic Payment Services) – Direct debit
  • ATM – Pay your bills, transfer money and more
  • 7-11 – You can pay some utility bills at the convenience stores

Major Local Banks

  • HSBC: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited it is the largest bank in Hong Kong.
  • Hang Seng Bank: Established in 1933 Hang Seng Bank is a principal member of the HSBC Group
  • Bank of East Asia (BEA): BEA operates one of the largest banking networks in Hong Kong.

Major ‘Foreign’ Banks in Hong Kong

  • Bank of China (BOC): BOC, one of China’s four state-owned banks and in Hong Kong in 2001.
  • Citibank: Citibank is a major market player in Hong Kong with a broad range of financial products and services.
  • Standard Chartered Bank (SCB): Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong operations began in 1859 and today it is the one of the SAR’s three note-issuing banks.

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