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Bank Accounts for Expats in China

Updated:2018-11-26 16:32:10    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:302

Bank accounts for expats doing business in China is mandatory. However, for many foreigners, opening a bank account in China is really frustrating. Not only do they have to go through the process of prolonged disturbing document preparation but also accept the bank's investigation into their background. Therefore, before setting up a business in China, one of the first things is to know what kind of bank accounts foreigners can open in China and the pros and cons of each. In the following exposition, Tannet mainly talks about four types of bank accounts.

I. Offshore Account
Back in 1998, China started its offshore banking business with some designated banks by allowing them to open forex accounts for foreign enterprises and individuals. Such accounts are called "OSA" accounts in China's banking administration. There are only four banks eligible to open OSA accounts for foreign entities and individuals, which are not the state-owned mega banks (such as the Big Four):

1. China Merchants Bank;
2. China Bank of Communication;
3. Pudong Development Bank;
4. Ping'an Bank.

II. Non-resident Account
In 2009, the China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued new rules allowing all banks in China (domestic or foreign-invested) to open foreign exchange accounts for foreign entities, facilitating foreign investors and Chinese investors to manage their foreign exchange fund. The rules of SAFE made it clear that such non-resident accounts are not OSA accounts, creating now another option for foreign investors to open forex accounts in China.

Now, the thing you want to know most is the difference between OSA accounts and non-resident accounts accounts. However, it shall be noted that in most aspects, there are really similar to the perspective of account holders.

III. Hong Kong Bank Account
Hong Kong is a transient city, and most of its residents are temporary. Because of this, opening a basic current account is as easy as it gets, even if you’re a tourist. The process is especially simple for EU, American and Australian passport holders; who can open an account almost immediately.

While opening a basic bank account is quite straightforward, opening a business bank account requires a bit more work. There was a time when Hong Kong was one of the easiest places in the world to open a business account, with no limits on the transfer of international funds. However, in an effort to crack down on money laundering and terrorist money movements, all major banks now have to comply with tough Know Your Customer (KYC) rules.

VI. Overseas Bank Account
In addition to the three types of account mentioned above, you’re able to open a bank account from other countries as well, and the bank doesn't require your physical presence. These bank accounts also serve your purposes on unlimited international transactions.

Tannet can introduce to open an account with Cyprus bank, OCBC bank, Bendura Bank AG, DBS bank, HSBC bank, Hang Seng Bank, etc. With the increasingly focus on anti-money laundering regulations, the requirements on bank account opening are more tighter than before. Tannet based in Hong Kong and is familiar with a number of banks and has established cooperation with them. We can help you open a bank account in a more easier way according to your actual situation.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143512, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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