Foreigner opening bank account :)

Hi there :slight_smile:

I am a South African citizen, with a Taiwanese passport (my father is Taiwanese).

I am planning to in the near future, move to Taiwan to study at NSYSU in KHS (to study Chinese).

I would like to open a normal savings account in the meanwhile, and start putting some savings in there until I end up going there, and then I will have money there to use and then I am secure.

How do I go about doing this?

I have emailed Bank of Taiwan (no reply), and I have also contacted HSBC.

HSBC told me I am in need of ARC or I must approach the bank directly (ofcourse I have no means of going to the bank directly anytime soon).

What can I do :cry:

The best thing is to go to a bank.

I like Mega Bank, personally. They have a lot of experience with international stuff.

Go with a well-established local bank. Overseas banks tend to be for business accounts.

I think it’s generally pretty difficult to open a bank account in another country unless they have a branch in your current country. They have to see physical documents etc. Plus email correspondence isn’t as high priority in Taiwan as speaking face to face or on the phone. You might have better luck phoning a bank such as Megabank.

I think when i return to Taiwan next year (perhaps for study, or if I postpone my studies, I think atleast I am there in person on holiday to open up an account?).

Anyways, nice to be on here, I am happy to find some platform to chat to fellow people in a kind of similar situation to me :slight_smile:

Personally I like HSBC, the service is good and it’s not widely used by locals, so small cues (if ever, usually get served right away) and the staff/bank itself are well maintained… Their range of financial products and multi-currency accounts are of course, also great. :slight_smile:

So my coworker -who has been in Taiwan almost 30 years- went to open an account with Chinatrust because they apparently do not charge you when you input foreign currency. Anyways, they asked her for:

*Her Taiwan ID. She has APRC
*Her passport
*Her foreign national ID, her cedula to make it clear :rage:
*Her company ID/proof of employment :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

It took them 2-3 hours to complete the paperwork…

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I started a new job a couple moths ago.
My experience with Mega was exactly how you describe.

Took 3 fuckin lunch hours.

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Ah la gran fruta!

Opened a Mega account about 4 years ago. Was so easy back then, ARC or even a record of ID and in 30 min you were good to go.

What if someone wasn’t working. Doesn’t seem like it’s the bank’s business to insist on employer information. What if the account is for savings?

Sounds like affected people need to contact the FSC to complain.

Yeah, this shit changes all the time.
The biggest PITAs were the passport (the fuck is the point of an APRC if you got to surrender your passport like a fucking tourist??) and, even worse, the “ID number from your native country”, which was totally WTF, since there’s no such fuckiing thing. I blew them off with my SIN#, which I probably remebered wrong, since it’s easily been more than 3 fucking decades since I used it.
What a crock.


Yeah…had the same bloody experience with Sinobank recently…even though I have a Taiwan ID now!!! I just wanted to open a normal savings account so that my brother can transfer money to me mthly using his Company account at Sinobank and they kept asking me for this and that…funny thing was, she kept on insisting that I show them my Indian passport (which I had already long surrendered) and wanted to see my Indian ID card which I don’t have. Finally, after insisting that she cannot open an account for me, I told her to talk to my Sister-in-law (who is a real Taiwanese)…after talking for a few minutes with my SIL, I heard her saying “Oh it is possible to open an account but he needs to wait for a week as his area of residence is in HsinZhuang and he came to our San Chung branch…blah blah!”. She hung up and said “OK!, we can give you the forms to open the account but you will need to wait exactly a week but if you go to the HsinZhuang branch directly, you can open it instantly!” …I told her…“But didn’t you just say it wasn’t possible for me to open an account?” She said “Oh yes, nowadays, due to a very strict policy to prevent money laundering (洗錢), all banks do not allow any person walking through the doors to open an account.” :roll_eyes:

A week later, I walked in, gave them 1000NT for the initial deposit and walked out with my Passbook and ATM card.

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Sounds like they are assuming by default someone is a tax resident of their home country. This number will probably be used to facilitate data sharing with the other country under CRS/FACTA.

Oh yeah, I forgot. they absolutely insisted that I sign this fuckin IRS form for something. I’m not even fuckin American!!???

Yeah, they gave me the same hoo ha.

The thing is, they will be happy if they have managed to send you away and not help you.

They feel defeated when they have to do their job and open an account for a foreigner…


Yeah, that’s probably just you.

They were happy we were able to do all they needed to and finally welcomed me as a valued client. :raccoon:

This money laundering stuff is laughable at times. My ChinaTrust bank said my account was randomly chosen by government to check about money laundering. The government requested to see an incoming transfer of money to my account. To do so, I had to open another bank account in Taiwan and transfer money to ChinaTrust so the bank could have physical incoming transfer form to pass to government.

This. I like to take the piss out of them on occasion. I’ve learned to take everything from passport, name stamp, mail with my address, ARC, bank book, ATM card and/or wife. I hold back one of these when I walk up to the teller and when they look at me with a hopeful expression whether I’ve brought the missing one, I magically produce it from my pocket. Shitz and giggles. The deflated look I get is priceless.


They have to legally comply and check new customers if they are on any black lists (Sanctions, Terrorism, Money Laundering).

Fun fact:
Most banks have ancient software that only allows [a-z A-Z 0-9]. So if your foreign name has an accent or some other letter those characters will be emitted.

Lets say you are Sáddam Hussein.
The black list has your name.

When you register for an account it will check for “Sddam Hussein” which will give no match and you can open an account. :rofl:

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