Bank Review, UBS Switzerland vs. HSBC Hong Kong

We will compare this 2 banks, how to open account with them, internet banking and card products and compare services which they offer.

UBS Switzerland
Very well known bank and one of the largest banks in the world with assets of 2 trillion CHF and 60.000 employees worldwide, it is one of the banks where most Swiss bank.
For Swiss resident banking with UBS is easy and straightforward, for both, personal and corporate banking, however as a non resident you may have troubles to open an account if you don’t live in Switzerland, or country where they have significant presence, or having a lot of money.

Being Swiss resident you just show up with your Swiss ID card or passport or residence permit if you live in Swiss as a non-citizen. If you are foreigner it is a good idea to bring also proof of income.

As a non Swiss or non-resident things are much different. You will need high income, with minimum deposit of one to two million $/€. Sometimes bank will make an exception, allowing non-resident to open an account for approximately 250k $/€.

UBS has a stellar internet banking, one of the best in the world, with simple interface and easy to keep track of your finances.

Overall UBS is a extremely high quality bank, which people don’t want to change once they have an account with them. Only downside, which I can think off is significant amount of money non-resident needs to open an account with them.

Pros: Stellar internet banking, excellent customer service, reliable bank
Cons: Significant amount of money for non-residents to open an account

HSBC Hong Kong

HSBC is often used for offshore banking and it is one of the main banks in Hong Kong. Although bank was founded here (HSBC stands for Hong Kong and Shanghai Corporation), nowadays has headquarters in London, UK. It is very old bank, existing since 1865.

HSBC has overall low banking fees, like most banks in Hong Kong. Opening an account is a straight forward process. One annoying thing is their slow response time for advanced queries, although they almost always answer.

Foreigners (and foreign companies) will almost always get issued only China UnionPay card, which is most common card in China and Hong Kong and also work in some ATMs worldwide. MasterCard and Visa will not be issued in most cases to non-residents.

Unlike UBS, online banking looks a bit out of date, although it offers all the features one could wish. When it comes to customer service they are available 24/7 in English (and of course in Chinese), but if you will be using English you have to be prepared to repeat yourself as well as hardly understand English with hard accent from customer service.

Pros: Opening an account is a straightforward process, low fees, reliable bank
Cons: Customer service can be slow at times and they use English with heavy accent, internet banking is outdated, not issuing mastercard or visa

Both banks have their pros and cons, one should consider when doing banking. Both are located in major offshore jurisdictions and both are reliable bank.

1 Comment on "Bank Review, UBS Switzerland vs. HSBC Hong Kong"

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