HSBC-Owned Hang Seng Bank Limits Crypto Companies to ‘Simple’ Accounts: Report

The report comes as Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority (HKMA) reminds banks that there is no ban on offering crypto companies accounts.

AccessTimeIconJul 31, 2023 at 9:33 a.m. UTC

Crypto companies in Hong Kong are having a difficult time getting corporate bank accounts despite the local government's push for the territory to become a crypto hub.

A report from the Hong Kong Economic Journal quotes the director of commercial and customer services at HSBC-owned Hang Seng Bank as saying that while licensed crypto companies can open a bank account, they’ll only be able to get a "simple" one. The report didn't say what services were excluded from such an account.

A spokesperson for HSBC did not immediately return a request for comment.

Crypto companies applying to operate in Hong Kong are struggling to open bank accounts due to limited staffing at the Securities and Futures Commission and reluctance from banks, even though there's no ban on them offering services to crypto firms, CoinDesk previously reported. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the central bank, has urged major lenders including HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of China to accept crypto exchanges as clients.

“We have active dialogues with virtual asset players to exchange views on a range of topics, including but not limited to account opening," an HSBC spokesperson previously told CoinDesk. "We remain very engaged on policies and developments of this nascent industry in Hong Kong.”

A spokesperson for Standard Chartered told CoinDesk in a prior interview that it has "regular dialogue" with regulators on different subjects.

Currently, the only two virtual asset trading platforms licensed by Hong Kong’s security regulator are OSL and Hash Blockchain.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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