Foreign residents banking woes in Taiwan

The following article appeared in this month’s issue of Taiwan Business Topics, the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. 

What’s in a name? When it comes to banking in Taiwan, quite a lot – especially if you’re a foreigner. For Anthony van Dyck, a long-term Canadian resident of Taiwan, an unwieldy name has proved a perennial hindrance to completing what should be routine procedures.

“I’ve been going to the same bank for almost 30 years – longer than any of the tellers have worked there – and at least twice a year there’s a problem,” says van Dyck, a director at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. “My full name [with middle names], which is on my APRC, is a mouthful. They insist it should be like that on their official documents. The trouble is, their system doesn’t accept that many characters.”

Name-related fiascos feature prominently in expat gripes about banks in Taiwan. Andy, a British national who has worked as a teacher here for over a decade, recounts a “bureaucratic nightmare” with Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) while trying to receive funds from abroad.

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