How to Close a Taiwanese Bank Account from Overseas?

Hi all, apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere, but I haven’t found anything (yet) addressing this specific situation.

I used to live in Taiwan teaching English and, after I left, kept my account with First Bank open since I was still due several hundred US dollars in bonuses and tax refunds. Now I am trying to figure out how to close the account and get the money wired to my US bank account. I spoke with First Bank over the phone and understood them to say (my Chinese is not the best, and they didn’t have any English speakers) that in order to close the account, I would have to go to a branch in person.

I could make a trip out of it since the cost of a plane ticket is much less than the amount of money I still have in the account, but it would be much more cost-effective to figure out how to do it from abroad. I had been withdrawing money from the account using my ATM card, but that no longer works unfortunately.

Does anyone have experience with this issue or have any pointers they can offer?

Have you looked into power of attorney if you still know and trust anybody in Taiwan?

No, not yet. That’s honestly something I haven’t even thought about at all
yet and would rather avoid if possible, but I guess it would be an option.

I reckon it depends on the bank, but some will tell you you just need to sign (or stamp) a withdrawal slip and give it and your bank book to a friend who would then automatically be authorized to make the withdrawal.

If you use a power of attorney that you don’t sign while in Taiwan, you’re expected to go to your TECO/equivalent to get the form they use and pay a fee to have your signature witnessed, then mail it to your friend.