Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

Start by selecting your Topic of interest below. Then choose your Regions and finally refine the exact Subjects you are seeking clarity on to view detailed analysis provided by our carefully selected internationally recognised experts.

4. Results: Answers
Tips and traps
What are your top tips for fintech players seeking to enter your jurisdiction and what potential sticking points would you highlight?
Hong Kong

Answer ... As a Tier 1 financial centre, Hong Kong naturally has a tough anti-money laundering regime. As such, one of the most difficult tasks that start-ups face is opening a bank account. This is even harder for fintech companies – especially those dealing with distributed ledger technology, due to its prior associations with illicit activities.

That said, there are a number of practical steps that tech start-ups can take to ease the process:

  • Approach the right bank with the right personnel; don’t necessarily go for brand (eg, some banks are more proficient in and enthused by tech).
  • Always have on hand all information regarding your company structure (it is essential that you can tell the bank who owns, operates and controls the company).
  • Have a well-thought-out business plan. This is the key document that will be considered, as the bank needs to know that it will be servicing a viable business. The scale and associated risks must be clearly stated.
  • Have people on the ground for face-to-face interviews. While it remains to be seen how virtual banks might change up this dynamic, at present face-to-face verification is still required.
  • Open more than one bank account. It is not safe to keep all your eggs in one basket. Account closure is a real risk that businesses must face and in the event of a sudden closure, unless you have other accounts active, your business may come to a sudden halt.

For more information about this answer please contact: Dominic Wai from ONC Lawyers