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Transferring money from china to UK

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by gypsyginger74, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. gypsyginger74

    gypsyginger74 New commenter

    I will be moving out to china to each English for a year in August and gave some financial ties in the uk that need to be paid every month. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to safely and cheaply transfer CNY to GBP and whether it is better done online or in a bank in china. This has been stressing me out a lot so I am very grateful for any reply or help I can get
  2. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    You have to do it through the bank in China - using systems like TransferWise or Revolut doesn't work, and it's a long, painful process. You will need to go to the bank each month, with your salary slip and your tax documentation, and it can take a long time to process the forms. There are other ways to do it but probably not as reliable or secure. The black market exists but it's not as easy to find as elsewhere. I may be wrong in this, but I also think transferring money is only available in certain banks, and you have to have an account with that bank to do it.

    If your employer offers it, it may be possible for them to transfer some or all of your salary to your UK account. I'd take that up, if it's available.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  3. gypsyginger74

    gypsyginger74 New commenter

    does western union not work? I can have my mum pick up the money once it gets to the uk
  4. GreenGlover

    GreenGlover New commenter

    A good school will arrange tis for you, however, you can't send any back from your first salary. The reason for this is that one of the required documents is a certificate to show you have paid Chinese income tax, and this is not produced until after the tax has been paid. Subsequently, you use month 1's certificate for month two's salary and so on+
  5. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    I always do it via my Chinese bank. It takes, on average, about 45 minutes, as they have to first convert it to the currency of the account you want it paid into, then they will check that tax has been paid on the money. If not, they won't transfer it for you. Then they will make copies of your original contract, passport, payslip etc etc. They will also take a photo of you and your bank card. Last month, due technical problems, I had to make 3 transfers within a week. Each time they will follow the same procedure, irrespective of how many times you've been through the same process!!! My bank charges 200 kuai (about 20 quid) per transaction. When I first started doing transfers it took a couple of days before the money was in my home account, but recently money has gone in within an hour of sending it!?? Some of my colleagues have used PayPal but not sure how that works, and I seem to remember that it's more expensive than bank to bank anyway. Some teachers even WeChat the money to a third party for them to pass it on to your home bank, at a cost...they've never had problems but I certainly wouldn't do this myself. My preferred way is via the bank - secure, above-board, quick and relatively cheap, though time-consuming. But hey, most banks are open on Sat and Sun here - in Beijing anyway! Get there early for their 9am opening - can be a waiting nightmare across noon into early afternoon.
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Spanboy has all details correct, I did it this way for several years without a problem (although the time wasted sitting in a bank did grate after a while. I used Western Union a couple of times and that worked too but I found more English spoken at the bank, Western Union branches are usually in post offices and most tellers don't speak much English.

    'A good school will arrange tis for you,' - I am not sure its as simple as that greenglover, what schools will do for staff varies and its not always linked to how good the school is??
  7. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Ten years in China...8 of them spent waiting in the bank to send money home.

    As makhnovite says Spanboy has it right. It’s a paperwork trail, but my money arrived every single time.

    Take your 25 yard swimming certificate, just in case and a few volumes of an encyclopedia. Our bank fortunately had a Starbucks attached to it and offered polo mints. My dentist made a fortune from me.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Unfortunately the TES Moderators took off a Dojo point and made me stand on the Naughty Step the last time I shamelessly plugged my blog on this TES forum. but regular readers of the pachyderm's online ramblings will know that I have described Chinese banking procedures at length in blog.

    Yes, it can be done. Yes, they will needs lots of documents and bits of paper and then some more. Yes, rouxx is absolutely right and it can take a long time. Then a bit longer...

    The important thing in China is to keep smiling and keep calm. For some strange reason, my bank in Shenzhen seemed to employ lots of pretty fourteen-year-olds who were very charming and sweet, but they had no idea how to use a computer for a foreign transfer.
  9. sonification

    sonification New commenter

    spanboy mentioned a transfer time of a few hours to a couple of days.
    Is this a something experience by the majority/
  10. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Spanboy said: 'It takes, on average, about 45 minutes,' - this is to fill out the forms in the bank!

    He went on to say: 'When I first started doing transfers it took a couple of days before the money was in my home account", - this is the time it takes for the money to arrive at its overseas destination!!

    This is the norm or it was, things may have changed. The problem is the Yuan is not yet a fully convertible currency.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    In Shenzhen, I think that my all-time record for a speedy transfer with CMB was just under an hour, but at the other end of the scale I had to go back to the bank three times to make one transfer. Each time I was in the bank for about an hour or more.
  12. sonification

    sonification New commenter

    Sorry I wasn't too clear. After the transfer (paperwork) is done, how long does the money take to arrive in the UK?
    Thank you for your answers.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    24 to 48 hours is the norm for me.

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