Opening a Chinese bank account

By on 2 January 2012

To open a bank account in China, you have to actually go to the country. However, you can still open a CNY-denominated bank account from within Canada or the USA, at branches of the Bank of China.

In Canada, you can open a basic savings account (with no minimum balance, paying 0.1% interest), or a term deposit (with a minimum of 5000 yuan, paying 0.15-0.35%); you can exchange CAD/USD, or you can deposit yuan notes. You can also withdraw yuan (if they have the banknotes), or exchange for CAD or USD. Their branch locations are:

Greater Toronto:
00012-308: 3265 Highway 7 East Unit 3, Markham ON L3R 3P9
00022-308: 396 Dundas Street West, Toronto ON M5T 1G7
00062-308: 3300 Midland Avenue Units 33-34, Scarborough ON M1V 4A1
00072-308: 1170 Burnhamthorpe Road West Unit 33, Mississauga ON L5C 4E6
00092-308: 3040 Don Mills Road East Unit 28, North York ON M2J 3C1
Metro Vancouver:
00030-308: 1025 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC V7X 1L3
00050-308: 8060 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC V6X 1A6
00109-308: 505 Third Street SW, Calgary AB T2P 1C4

In the USA, the accounts are rather more restricted; they have a minimum opening balance of the CNY equivalent of US$500, and you can’t deposit or withdraw CNY notes. In addition, they only open CNY accounts for personal customers at the New York branch in the NYC area, or for businesses at the New York or Los Angeles branches, for those in in the NYC or LA areas.
026003269: 410 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10017-1174 (NYC residents & businesses only)
122041662: 444 South Flower Street Suite 3900, Los Angeles CA 90071-2940 (LA area businesses only)

Anyone in the US wanting to invest in CNY cash might be better off making the trip across the border to Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver.

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