Bank Robbed at Chang Hwa Bank

Today after work my boss tells me to open an account in her bank if I want to get paid. Straight forward enough and at least she won’t have any excuses not to pay me on time.

She tells me it is Chang Hwa Bank here in Taichung. After two hours of searching I find a bank with a big red C H B on it and sure enough that’s it.

I go inside and a security guard ask me in broken English if he can help. I tell him I want to open an account. He sits me down, ask for my Id and goes to work filling out papers. I sign about ten papers I can’t read and he says have a seat. He then says there is a 1000NT minimum to open an account. I hand him 1000NT and that is the last I see of my money.

An hour later he comes and ask me to sign another form and wait. Half hour later tells me that my PARC is no good and I must have a passport. I tell him he is wrong and to ask the manager. He leads me to another counter and a lady tells me the same thing. My R.O.C. issued id is not acceptable and I must have a passport.

I ask her to call her boss and check as I have never had this problem before. She comes back 20 minutes later to tell me that she is right, I am wrong.

I ask her for her business card and I offer one of mine in exchange. She declines and gives me back my business card. I am then told that it is almost 4:00 and I have to go.

They refuse to allow me to open an account or to have back all the documents I signed. They also refuse to give me back my 1000NT or a receipt for my money.I may be mistaken but I think I was just robbed.

Any suggestions?
Pleas call me,
email me:


Explain what happened to your boss and ask her to come with you to the bank first thing tomorrow morning.


So sorry to hear about this happening. You should get a Chinese speaker to go the police with you. You were certainly cheated big time :fume:
Best of luck to you.

Think: “Surveillance cameras.”

Stay calm. Go back with your boss today and sort it out. Take your passeport along as well. The ARC vs. passeport issue is nothing new; a lot of institutions, like banks and their tellers have no idea what an ARC is, let alone what rights it entails.

As for returning your money, go back and ask again. You know how things are at quitting time here: four o’clock rolls around and everybody’s out the door, no matter what they’re doing. It may just have been a mistake/memory lapse on her part because she had to get out the door to pick her kid up from kindergarten. A lot of times what a Westerner might think is a big deal is just an oversight to the locals.

Good luck,

Apologies if this has been posted anywhere else -

Just seen this guy on the news, angry at an ATM machine, and when talking to it didn’t work he went and fetched what looked like a brick, pitched it at the glass, it bounced back and hit him in the face! Man, that was funny!

[quote=“citizen k”]. A lot of times what a Westerner might think is a big deal is just an oversight to the locals.
Good luck,CK(quote]

I think this is true in many circumstances. However, Eric wrote
“They refuse to allow me to open an account or to have back all the documents I signed. They also refuse to give me back my 1000NT or a receipt for my money.”

It seems to me that there should have been no reason not return his things or give him his money back. Someone sure does seem to have been under the impression that they could cheat him, probably due to his not having the language ability to demand his stuff back. I can’t imagine that this guard or the bank staff would have done the same to a Taiwanese person.
As I said in an earlier post, Eric needs to go to the police department. I think otherwise his money is history.

Eric, i’m sorry to hear what happened.
First, the minimum opening account is only 100NT
Second, ask a buddy who can speak chinese so he/she can help you through the process of opening an account. It’s about half an hour or more.
Third, ARC should be enough to open a bank account.

I hope you’ll get it through and get your money back.

True enough, Cableguy, they would not have done this to a local, probably because the local would have been effectively able to communicate what the dilemma was. I’m just assuming that after dealing with the situation for a period of hours, as Eric mentioned in his post, that the staff were probably hopelessly convinced that there was no possible way they could help him; call it “Tia-bo shutdown” - if someone cannot understand what you want, they will generally stop trying to help after a certain period. This is usually hastened when a customer appears to be getting frustrated or loosing his cool, as Eric surely must have been after trying to deal with this for a couple of hours.

If this was the case, the NT$1000 was probably the furthest thing from the clerk’s mind; she was probably just thinking: “Gosh, I made him angry, how can I make him leave?” You may be sceptical about this, but it’s pretty unusual t see a local openly trying to stiff a foreigner. Most of the personal instances in which I thought someone was trying to take advantage of me ended up being cases of miscommunication or misinterpretation on my part or a simple oversight on either my or the other party’s account.

Hope this is what happened in Eric’s case and he managed to get everything cleared-up.



So was it sorted out? I would love to call the bank and complain to them myself.


I opened an account at Chang Hwa in Taipei recently. There was an inordinate amount of form-filling to do, and it took forever, but there was no minimum to pay.

It wasn’t the security guard that did the paperwork though. That seems a bit odd. The guard at my bank took me to the wrong department, but was otherwise uninvolved. Fortunately he spoke reasonable English.

I find that when having difficulties of this nature the best thing to do is whip out your phone and call someone who can sort things out in Chinese. At least it calms the situation down, which is half the battle.

Ok, do a Mel Gibson in Payback thing. Go to the bank with a gun, tell the teller that you just want your $1000NT back, when they offer you a bag full of cash tell them that you only want $1000NT.

Seriously, they like to keep up to date records of everything. You won’t need your passport to open the account but I bet they’ll ask for a copy sometime. To them ARC or APRC cards are not permanent numbers, geez my numbers have changed a couple of times already and I haven’t applied for a new type of visa. Maybe they think that a passport number is a better way to keep a track on you and if there are some problems they can hold you up at the airport - running out on debt etc.

Let them have their idiocy. It probably cost you more time than it would have to go and get your passport or come back another day. If it was me I’d save my battles for something a little more important than that.

I also feel I got robbbed: