- August 1, 2022
Differences, Features, Tips, Pitfalls, and Best Chinese Banks for Russian Companies
With a majority of Russian banks being currently disconnected from the SWIFT system, transfers to and from the EU and the US becoming difficult or impossible. US and EU sanctions further impede business transactions between companies of these regions and Russia. How to secure operational cash flows and simply do business with partners outside of Russia and Belarus? How to successfully minimize the sanction risks? Opening a bank account in a neutral jurisdiction could be the solution! Asia is not only a short time fix for securing bank transactions, but a very attractive market to consider.
We prepared a series of interviews with our Asian partners and we hope these articles will clarify some of your concerns. Find out in our first interview with Wilson Zhao, Managing Partner at Upcom how to open a bank account in China and what the benefits are.
1) What is the standard procedure for opening a bank account in China?
- Provide the company name to bank
- Bank will go to the company’s office to verify the documents and working location
- Bank will give the company the relevant materials
- Then the company should go to the bank, provide all necessary materials, then open the account
2) What documents are required? Who can open an account, is the presence of the General Director of the Russian company personally needed or can it be via power of attorney?
- Business License
- Company chop
- Legal person chop
- Finance chop
- Legal person’s ID card (if the legal person is a foreigner, the bank needs the passport)
- Chinese Trustee’s ID card
No need for the presence of General Director of the Russian company — it can be handled via power of attorney.
3) Does the company have to open a local entity (LLC) and/or have a local General Director in order to open an account?
You need to open a local entity in order to open an account. No need to have a local General Director.
4) How long does it take to open an account?
After the bank goes to the company’s office and verifies the documents and the company’s location/office, one can go to the bank and open the account one day later.
5) Is it possible to transfer money from China to Russia or is there a risk that these transfers will be blocked because of the sanctions?
It is possible to transfer money from China to Russia through the business of cross-border RMB. It cannot be handled through the business of foreign currency because of the sanction. As per cross-border RMB, there is no risk to be blocked.
6) Are there currently any sanctions in force against Russia, Russian companies or individuals limiting them to open bank accounts?
There is a sanction list. The bank needs to verify it case by case.
7) Have you already assisted Russian companies in opening bank accounts?
We have the experience to help Nordic companies to open the bank account in China.
8) Is it possible to Issue a virtual corporate card for making online payments (for example to pay for Adobe Photoshop and other online services)?
Yes, it is possible to issue a virtual corporate card for making online payments.
9) Do you need a local mobile SIM card for approving bank operations (signing bank payments)?
10) What banks would you recommend for opening accounts for Russian companies and individuals?
(Note: based on which ones provide more favorable conditions for Russian/international businesses, less paper work, but with a high reliability level etc.)
- Bank of China boc.cn
- Bank of Communications bankcomm.com
- Industrial Bank cib.com.cn
- Pingan Bank pingan.com
- Bank of Wenzhou wzcb.com.cn
- Zhejiang Tailong Commercial Bank zjtlcb.com
11) Is it possible to open an account as individual person (not a company) and can you assist with this as well?
If an individual person has a work permit in China and has a Chinese SIM card, he/she can open personal bank account. Upcom can assist with this as well.
12) How can Russian individuals/companies manage their accounts in China from abroad? Are there options for online banking provided with all banks?
Some banks provide an online banking system, this needs to be checked with the selected bank.
13) Could you describe in a sample case how the process works, including timelines etc.?
As I mentioned, we have experience to help Nordic companies to open bank account in Shanghai:
- Setting up a JV/company. For our Nordic client in the past it took around 2-3 months.
- Then all necessary documents should be prepared which takes around 1 week.
- The opening of the bank account then when all documents are in place will take 1-2 days.
Read also Awara Guide on opening a bank account in UAE
Together with our reliable and professional partner in Asia (Upcom) we’ll find the best way to support your company, to ensure smooth operations and reduce the sanction risk! Contact us for questions or a quote.