China's Big 4 Banks Compared:Which Offer the Best Accounts?

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Many expats in China who want to open an account, they will firstly think about China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks—the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China(ICBC), Bank of China(BOC), China Construction Bank(CCB) and the Agricultural Bank of China(ABC). 

What are the [size=16][size=15]pros and cons of the China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks [/size]and how much do you know about? Check it![/size]
 
  
1  
the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
(ICBC)
As the [size=16]largest of the China’s state-owned bank, ICBC was founded in 1984. According to the total assets of more than 220,000 billion issued at the end of last year, it ranks NO.1 in the world. [/size]
 

Of the Big Four branches, ICBC is the most popular choice when considering [size=16]customer service and online banking. The website has full English text and the word most often used to describe is “streamlined”. [/size]
 
  
2  
Bank of China
(BOC)
Another popular choice is BOC, which happens to be [size=16]China’s oldest bank (found in 1912). The Great Wall debit and credit card are from BOC, signs for which you will see in many institutions around the country. [/size]
 

You can find a stand alone ATM or bank branch on practically every street corner. 
 

If you are looking for [size=16]convenience within China, BOC is a good choice. [/size]
 
  
3  
China Construction Bank
(CCB)
CCB is a state-owned Commercial Bank which is major in [size=16]med-to-long term credit business. It do business within China and many international financial centers. [/size]
 

One of the great benefits that CCB has going for, it is a member of the [size=16]“Global ATM Alliance”, which is a “joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers…to use their ATM or check card at another bank with the alliance with no transaction fees when traveling internationally.” [/size]
 

If you are a world traveler, CCB might be the most cost efficient choice overall.
 
  
4  
Agricultural Bank of China
(ABC)
ABC is [size=16]one of the richest state-owned commercial banks in China. It went public in 2010 and had the world’s largest initial public offering(IPO) ever. [/size]
 

Since then, ABC certainly [size=16]has made a splash. However, all the branches of ABC are limited only to mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. [/size]
For those who need a more flexible debit card and who wish to avoid those pesky foreign transaction fees, this may not be the bank for you.
 
 
How to Open An Account 
There are some things that all the banks will require when you open an account. First of all, you need to bring your valid passport and resident permit to the bank. 
 

After filling the application form, the staff will ask you to create a [size=16]six digit PIN number (which is different from the usual four digit PIN number found elsewhere in the world,such as in the US).[/size]
 

Attention,[size=16] a minimum of 1RMB deposit is needed in your account. [/size]
After that, you will get a debit card which you can use at any of the bank’s branch and ATM as well as a bankbook in which you can record your withdrawals and deposits. You have opened an account successfully. 
So easy, right?
During the procedure, expats may worry about whether the bank can provide good enough English service. Just in case, you had better get a Chinese friend to come with you and explain the process.
 
  
After knowing the above all, you must have known the pros and cons of China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks.  When you open an account, you will know how to choose the bank which is [size=16]most suitable for you. [/size]

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