Foreigner Banking in Taiwan Masterlist

Given the clusterfuck that is banking in Taiwan and the fact that most people here have multiple bank accounts, does anyone have a masterlist of each bank, their treatment to foreigners and the features they offer?

There are tons of banking related threads on Forumosa with bits and pieces of info, it would be great to consolidate it into one document.

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I don’t have a masterlist. However, in my experience as a Brit with ARC trying to open bank accounts in 2018:

E.Sun:

  • Wouldn’t let me open an account

Bank of Taiwan:

  • Wouldn’t let me open an account

Cathay United:

  • Could open, but poor service to foreigners

Mega Bank:

  • Great all around, no discrimination towards me

Panhsin Bank:

  • Old school, but no discrimination towards me

This can be heavily dependent on which branch you go to and who you interact with. Sometimes going to a bigger branch of the same bank and even going at a different time to talk to a different person can make all the difference.

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Chunghua Post - Let me open an account.

Hua Nan - Let me open an account.

I didn’t have much trouble today, however

  • they only allow you to open near your home or workplace address
  • incoming usd transfers have to be signed off each time by visiting the bank
  • you need to give US ssn, some banks ask for tax returns and others don’t
  • takes about 2 hours to open an account. Banks here close at 3:30 for some reason
  • I don’t know what happens if you leave Taiwan or don’t have an active ARC anymore. I assume you have to close the account.
  • lots of questions about source of income, employer, incoming usd each month

I tried Cathay and hua nan

If you don’t have an ARC then it’s pretty much impossible

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You do not. I went to live in China for a year, and let my ARC expire whilst there. None of my accounts were closed, but they knew my ARC had expired. Mega allowed me to continue to use the account, but not make changes to the account such as enabling online banking. They said this was because my account was opened with my ARC ID number and they needed to see a valid ARC with the same ID no. to make any changes.

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It’s a good idea to prepare ALL your documents before going to the bank. Also bring a stamp/chop.

I was going to suggest this be merged with the thread discussing pretty much the same thing I remember seeing last month…but then I noticed that that was also created by @DunderMifflin, so…

There have also been at least 2 other banking threads in the last month I think, including one I created. I agree that it would probably be useful to have all the info in one place, though I’m not sure creating more threads will help with that. Anyway.

Actually, I didn’t find this to be the case when I did a USD transfer to myself last month (Mega Bank, Guting branch, through TransferWise). The bank just called me to ask about the purpose of the transfer, I told them “living expenses” or something like that, and it was in my account a couple of hours later. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Let’s create a google doc. Can someone help with this? I’ll be AFK for a while and don’t want this thread to explode again. Let’s just keep a doc with each bank listed and some bullet points under it

Saw in your other post that you have a gold card. Didn’t the guys in the gold card Line group already set up something like that? (I haven’t been paying much attention to be honest, but think I remember seeing something.)

Hmm not sure. I asked to be added to the Line group a while back but haven’t been added yet…

I’m not sure how the invitation permissions work, but I can try adding you if you want to PM me your Line ID. :slight_smile: There’s also a Slack group, but I haven’t been paying much attention to that either.

I created a Notion page with bank codes

I could add columns for people’s names if you recommend the bank or had a bad experience (and were open to be PMed about it)

And I can add a look to the Google doc as well.

These Notion pages will be reachable from the forums from a drop-down menu. You can add them now by changing your Forumosa theme to Test in the hamburger menu

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This is the easy part.

Credit cards is where the discrimination is at.

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What about mortgages? I’d hope to be able to get 10-20% down with 1% interest one day

Yeah. This is the important bit. Mortgage, CC, loans.

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What is the state of foreigners getting mortgages in Taiwan? How easy does it become if you have a Taiwanese spouse who can co-sign?

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Well… You answered your question right there.

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Not really. I still don’t know how easy it becomes with a Taiwanese co-signer. I know its very hard but not impossible without a co-signer, but with one I’m not sure. Will they still give you a hard time or do doors suddenly start opening when you show them the magical national ID card? Can the mortgage be in your Taiwanese spouse’s name, if its the foreigner who is earning the money? I guess it would be considered as household income? Or not, who knows.

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It’s night and day. It’s exactly how you described.