Standard Chartered is enticing Chinese customers with short-term deposit rates reaching up to 10 per cent to attract deposits from mainland China and bolster Hong Kong’s status as a wealth hub.

As part of the Wealth Management Connect program, eligible customers can exchange renminbi for US dollars with funds equivalent to HK$100,000 (S$17,390) or more and earn a favourable rate of 10 per cent per annum for a one-month time deposit, as stated by the bank.

In February, the Hong Kong branches of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, two of China’s largest state-controlled banks, also offered rates exceeding 7 per cent for one-month time deposits as part of a promotional campaign for Wealth Connect customers.

The reopening of the border in 2023 saw mainlanders flocking to Hong Kong to open accounts and invest in offshore products, including deposits and insurance, prompting Hong Kong lenders to intensify their efforts to attract deposits from mainland China.

The renminbi and other Asian currencies have faced downward pressure, leading China to emphasize the importance of preventing one-sided moves in the renminbi this week.

In early 2024, the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities expanded the Wealth Connect program, increasing individual investment limits to 3 million yuan from 1 million yuan and broadening eligibility criteria. This program allows mainland investors in the Greater Bay Area to move money out of China within a closed-loop system.

Standard Chartered’s website also indicates rates as high as 13.8 per cent for time deposits in Hong Kong with flexible tenors of seven or 14 days, while HSBC Holdings offers up to 13.5 per cent per annum for one-week time deposits when customers exchange currencies.