Savings programmes in Hong Kong
There might be companies or groups which offer savings programmes to migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, often in combination with micro-finance or investment opportunities. It is important to note that these groups might have a commercial interest in encouraging their participants to invest in products from certain companies.
As we pledge to provide neutral education and advice, we do not endorse any particular financial product or commercial scheme to migrant domestic workers. However, regardless of where they choose to save or invest, we always advise domestic workers to choose a reputable, established company and to first research whatever programme in which they choose to invest their hard-earned money.
Opening a savings account in Hong Kong
At the very least, we encourage all domestic workers to open a bank account to assist in saving. However, some banks are not very welcoming to helpers; either they might face discrimination from front-line staff, or they might be asked for many supplementary documents which they do not always have or know how to access. Some of these documents might be easy for you to provide (e.g. proof of address), but your helper might not know whether she can ask you for this.
For this reason, many employers find it helpful to accompany their helper to open a bank account. The account will not be in your name and will be entirely hers, but your presence can make the process smoother and ensure that she can feel more comfortable to ask you for any necessary documentation. We also advise paying her salary by bank transfer where possible, as this is a good record both for you and her, and will also help her improve her savings, rather than having cash always available on hand.
You can even encourage your helper to open a second bank account and have an automatic transfer from her main bank account (where her salary is transferred to) to this second one for savings.
Although we do not advise any particular bank, you can check out our handy comparison table of different banks and their requirements.
Savings in her home country
If she has an existing bank account in her home country, encourage her to continue to maintain it, especially if she chooses to remit her savings through her account. You can also encourage your helper to explore savings programmes back home which might be provided by the government or reputable, ethical organisations.