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Bank of China to launch pilot service for opening mainland Chinese accounts directly in Hong Kong

As the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (‘Greater Bay Area’) moves forward, regulatory approval has recently been granted by the mainland for a pilot mainland personal account opening attestation service in Hong Kong, in an effort to fulfil the demand for financial services among the Hong Kong residents who travel, work and live on the mainland. The HKSAR Government pushes forward and attaches great importance to the initiative, which is supported and promoted by local regulatory authorities. Hong Kong citizens can now open mainland personal accounts (Type II and III) in the city, without having to travel to the mainland for the application. The account can be linked to mainland mobile payment applications for the convenience of digital payments across the Greater Bay Area and the mainland.

Bank of China (‘BOC’) is authorised as a pilot bank to launch this service. The application process is simple and easy. For Hong Kong citizens looking to open an account, they only need to visit any Bank of China (Hong Kong) (‘BOCHK’) branch with their Permanent HKID card and Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents (‘Home Visit Re-entry Permit’) and fill in account opening documents. Neither mainland addresses nor visits to the mainland are required for the application. Upon successful application, customers will receive a notification. They can then activate their account at a designated branch nearby.

Mrs Ann Kung, Deputy Chief Executive of BOCHK, said, "The development of the Greater Bay Area is entering a new phase. With the great support from both mainland and Hong Kong regulatory authorities, BOCHK cooperates closely with our parent bank BOC and their institutions in the Greater Bay Area in introducing the mainland personal account opening service. The service allows Hong Kong residents to open mainland banking accounts easily without setting foot outside the city. BOCHK will continue to expedite the innovation of cross- border financial products and services in order to fulfil the demand for cross-border financial services among those Hong Kong people who work, live and travel in the Greater Bay Area. The Bank is set on making positive contributions to the development of the Greater Bay Area into a quality zone for living, working and travelling, as well as a vibrant world-class city cluster."

Customers may link their mainland personal account to mainland mobile payment applications to enjoy the convenience of digital payments across the Greater Bay Area and the mainland, covering every aspect of their life, including clothing, food, accommodation and transport. In addition, there are transaction limits to ensure greater security while fulfilling customers' spending needs on the mainland.

When customers activate their new account, the handling fee for their first Renminbi remittance at the branch will be waived. BOCHK also provides the ‘BOC Remittance Plus’ service for customers to transfer funds into their mainland account via Internet Banking for greater convenience.

Notes:

1.     There are transaction limits for Type II and III accounts opened in Hong Kong through the attestation service.

Type II accounts opened in Hong Kong through the attestation service:

l        ATM card is provided. Daily ATM cash withdrawal limit is RMB 1,000

l        The maximum daily transfer and deposit limit is RMB 10,000; while the maximum annual limit is RMB

200,000

l        The maximum daily limit for spending, bill payment, transfer out, cash withdrawal is RMB 10,000; while the maximum annual limit is RMB 200,000

Type III accounts opened in Hong Kong through the attestation service:

l        ATM card is not provided

l        The account balance must not exceed RMB 2,000 at any given time

l        The maximum daily limit for spending, bill payment, transfer out is RMB 2,000; while the maximum annual limit is RMB 50,000

2.     The Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents must be valid for a minimum of three months

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