Bank of China – Wire Transfer Info

Just spoke with the BoC regarding wire transfers and such.

RMB is not a settlement currency so you cannot wire it directly.  Instead, whatever currency you wire will sit in your BoC account, in that currency.  Then you must go to the bank with your passport to convert it.  USD$50,000 conversion limit applies per year.

The good news is that the conversion rate that applies is basically the market spot-rate.  Listed here as “Buying Rate”:  this is substantially better than the whopping 3% fee (due to currency spread) you pay at the “Cash Buying Rate” (i.e. over the counter in a money exchange).

There is no fee to receive the money (unlike HSBC in Australia), nor any direct fees on the currency transfer.

BoC hotline is 95566.  The lady I spoke to had excellent english, and knew exactly what she was talking about.  That’s more than I can say about a lot of operators for Australian banks.

Going the *other* way is more problematic.  You cannot transfer RMB out directly (same reason you cannot transfer it in directly).  And changing the RMB back to a settlement currency requires you to prove the source of the funds, apparently involving a visit to a government branch (read: PITA).  More info on that is apparently here. Then if you do change it back from RMB, you can transfer it out again, for a fee.  If you were not physically in China, I don’t know how any of this would be possible.

Net result:  I think I’ll just transfer in only what I plan to spend.

From my memory filling out the customs entry forms, limits also apply to the amount of RMB notes you can take in and out of the country. Something like ¥6,000.  So that limits you from taking the RMB notes out of the country and converting it elsewhere (unless you are a fan of stuffing money down your underpants).


7 comments on “Bank of China – Wire Transfer Info

  1. one way to get the WIRE rate for USD to RMB is to deposit cash in USD in a USD account at the bank of china or say Construction Bank and then wire the money in USD to another bank and then get the better (up to 7% better) rate for WIRED USD vs. bringing in cash
    at the bank you just wired to…

    the reason the banks pay less for cash is that USD bills must be processed (i.e. it costs money) and 2) there is risk (albeit it small given new technologies) of counterfeit cash… .a wired amount does not have the cost of cash handling
    or risk of counterfeiting.

    but… the originating bank that accepted US currency did not charge for the deposit of USD so in the end you save yourself that 7% by doing things this way

  2. Dear sir
    I received some letters from bank of china and
    wire transfer department with this address:
    info@baof-china.com Mr.Rev Mark Ike director
    international remittance department and also
    somone named Dr. Qi Xiao
    please inform me do you know them or not?
    it is very important for me I’m waiting to receive
    your response .
    yours truly Morteza

  3. Dear Sir
    I receved letters from bank of china and wire transfer department with this address.
    REV MARK IKE(Director, International Remittance Department)
    for: BANK OF CHINA DEPOSIT BUREAU
    please inform me do you know them or not.
    it is very importent for me i am waiting to receive your response

    your truly Alaa

  4. I was scammed by a Chinese seller “Fang Yang”. SWITF:BKCHCNBJ600 the following account number: 4662105-0188-037448-1. Dated 10/12/2008 for 459.00 Euros. Let me respond to the bank! the SELLER to steal five buyers?, by a false listing on eBay.Is it possible to have your fax number? For the opposition. Since 2008, I am looking for the bank?.

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