Terms for opening a bank account
Internet banking and online services are now becoming more and more popular in Taiwan.
A foreign national wanting to open a bank account in Taiwan must be at least 20 years old and have proof of a fixed place of residence. You may not open a bank account if you are not a registered resident, i.e. you only have a visitor visa.
If you feel safer opening an account with an international bank that you are familiar with, you can expect the following conditions.
Citibank - You must earn or maintain a balance of NT$25000 (New Taiwan Dollar) per month. If your balance goes below this amount, an account management fee of around 500 NT$ will be incurred monthly.
HSBC - HSBC requires you to open and maintain an account with a minimum of 3 million NT$. If you fail to meet this target, an account management fee of NT$1,000 will be incurred from your account on a monthly basis.
ABN AMRO - If you choose to open account with the Dutch bank ABN AMRO you will be requested to open and maintain an account with NT$3.88million.
If you find these requirements a little too demanding, you can opt to open an account with one of Taiwan’s local banks. You can usually open an account with a minimum of NT$1,000.
One of the more popular banks, Chinatrust, requires an opening minimum deposit of NT$10,000. Local banks will normally have an English speaking representative to help you with any queries.
Required documents for opening an account
When opening a bank account, you will need to go to your chosen bank in person and present:
- Your passport
- A Republic of China (ROC) ID card, which should have 10 digits.
- Your ID number and certificate of your Alien Resident Card, or a Record of ID number in the Republic of China.
- The amount required to open the bank account, which varies from bank to bank
Further requirements are listed on the National Immigration home page.
Bank deposit books
A bank deposit book, or Passbook, is a book held by the account holder where all transactions are recorded. These are quite common among banks in Taiwan. Citibank, HSBC and ABN AMRO, however, choose instead to issue a monthly statement which lists all your recent transactions.
Once you have opened an account at your preferred bank, you will be issued with an ATM card. You can use this card to withdraw money with from any ATM machine. You should ask for a Plus or Cirrus symbol on your card, so that you can access your Taiwanese funds from outside the country.
You will usually be issued with an ATM card and password 1-3 days after opening an account with HSBC and ABN AMRO.
Taiwan Bank takes a little longer, as they will send you your ATM card by post a week after opening your account. Some banks will ask you to wait while you are opening your account so that they can process your card to give to you immediately.
List of banks in Taiwan
Each bank will have different interest rates, charges and minimum amounts required for opening and maintaining an account. Here are some of the major Taiwanese banks:
- Central Bank of China
- Bank of Taiwan
- Mega International Commercial Bank
- Chinatrust Commercial Bank
- Industrial Bank of Taiwan
- Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank
- Taishin International Bank
- Taiwan Cooperative Bank
- Union Bank of Taiwan
- Hua Nan Bank
- Taipei Fubon Bank
- Cathay United Bank
- Bank Sinopac
- First Commercial Bank