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International Desk


Please see below our Frequently Asked Questions in regards to banking in China. Were your needs different to the ones below, do not hesitate in getting in touch via the “Contact Us” section.

How can Santander and Bank of Shanghai support companies that have an interest in China?

Santander and Bank of Shanghai’s International Desk (ID) team, formed by a group of experts, is specialised in supporting foreign companies of the Group that are interested in finding new comercial partners as well as establishing themselves in China. All of the members have a sound knowledge in corporate banking and counts with the support of the retail team, who can ensure a smooth settlement for employees of the companies.

The multi-lingual team of International Desk has access to the Domestic and Cross Border combined value offer of Santander and Bank of Shanghai. Complementary to the financial offer, International Desk provides our customers with a non-financial offer, based on the centralized support offered on the establishment and account openings of the companies, in which International Desk advises clients and adds value through its selective Third Party Network of local service providers (access to local authorities, embassies, chambers of commerce and as well Intellectual Property, Business Support, Legal, Tax and Accounting advisory).

What type of companies can the International Desk offer its services to?

Service can be provided to all small, medium and large corporates. Currently, Santander – Bank of Shanghai is the only bank offering such a complete value proposition with the support of an International team working side by side, at the same premises of their local partner, speaking the same language as their clients and therefore, understanding their needs at first.

Who will assist the companies in China?

From Shanghai, the clients will be contacted at first, via e-mail or telephone, to understand their needs at first. According to these, the International Desk will assign the most suitable Relationship Manager who will attend your company and have a sound knowledge in solving all your banking needs. Moreover, the International Deskteam will oversee the entire process to ensure that the quality provided is of the highest standards.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

In general terms, if a Company can provide all the necessary documents required by the local regulations, the average time is of three weeks, from the first contact with the Bank to when the account is totally operative. It is important to emphasize that delays may occur due to the regulations of the country, depending on the industry and sector of the Company as well as the purpose of the account opening the required documents may vary.

Can international companies open a Non-resident account in China?

Yes, it is possible for an international non-resident account to be opened in RMB as well as in foreign currency (USD, EUR, HKD, JPY, GBP, CHF, SGD, CAD and AUD)

Can all types of companies establish in China?

The government lists industries as “Favorable”, “Restricted” and “Prohibited”, indicating which ones are more welcomed into the country, as the favorable ones can enjoy less bureaucratic burdensome than the restricted ones. This list changes semi-annually, therefore it is recommended to enquire about this with the International Desk China. Please, refer to our specialized team for further information.

Where in China can companies establish themselves with Santander-Bank of Shanghai’s support?

In any city where Bank of Shanghai is physically present: it has 315 branches across 13¹ cities in China (mostly in the East coast of the country, major trading ports in China, as well as Chengdu, Shenzhen and Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone).

Why is it an advantage to open a bank account in Shanghai, China?

Shanghai has a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) where the process of account openings are less tedious than in continental China, with a lesser tax burden and the possibility for companies to create revenue by supplying their products to China as well as other international companies that are established within the FTZ. In order to enjoy its benefits, companies have to register within the FTZ, where Bank of Shanghai was one of the first bank to establish in the area.

¹Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Shaoxing, Wuxi, Nantong, Changzhou and Hong Kong.

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