Shenzhen Banking – Defying Domestic and International Standards

Harry Fozzard   |   September 1, 2021

Shenzhen has become a home for most financial institutions in the world because of the growing logistics industry in the area. Shenzhen now maintains less than a hundred banks scattered all over the territory to cater to the banking needs of its inhabitants. The assets of these banks have risen thirty percent from its previous reported assets. Savings deposits have been reported to have reached almost 3 trillion yuan in the recent year, doubling its growth. Loans line up also in the same numbers. It cannot be denied that the Shenzhen banking industry is one of the biggest primers in the world today.

Those who have visited Shenzhen had the awful experience of failing to cash out their pocket money from ATM machines. The problem is that Shenzhen does not adapt the standard home banking adapted worldwide. When we speak of standard home banking, we refer to those banks maintained and operated systematically by VISA, MAESTRO, CIRRUS or PLUS. China has adapted its own banking sytem. They call it Union Pay, one that is totally different and distinct from Hong Kong’s JETCO. Hence, most tourists who were uninformed of this system will mostly likely be on the lookout for international banks that they can use, and most of these international bank ATMs are located inside big malls, which poses a waste of time in having to hunt them down.

Shenzhen banking system is divided into two categories, those domestic banks and the foreign or international banks. The international banks operating in the territory are: HSBC (Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Standard Chartered Bank, the Bank of East Asia, the Citibank and the Hang Seng Bank. Most of these international banks are located inside big malls found in the business district. So if you need cash for your temporary stay, it would be wise to stay near shopping malls to get access to these ATM machines. However, if you would like to open for a bank account with Visa Electron Card in Shenzhen, the following banks have a long term reputation not only in Shenzhen but also globally and are also ranked among the top servers of banking needs. You can visit the Bank of America Shenzhen, Citicorp Shenzhen, Citibank Shehzhen or JP Morgan Chase Shenzhen. Get your electron card and shop around the city with your locally opened international card.

If however your stay in the city is prolonged, it is advisable that you open an account with a domestic bank. You can choose from International Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, Development Bank of China, China Merchant Bank, or China Agricultural Bank. Most of these domestic banks are located commonly in the business districts and can be accessed anywhere. There is no need to look for a prestigious mall since they are strategically situated in areas where a local shopper may run out money. Opening an account with any of these domestic banks will enable you to link your foreign account to get instant access to your funds overseas. You can withdraw from your foreign account or from international banks using this domestic account.

For further reading:

On the Other Side of the Fence: Industries in Shenzhen

Industries in Shenzhen: Pioneer of Modern Logistics towards Progress

A Deep Dive into the Financial Industry of Shenzhen

The Growing Cultural Industry of Shenzhen

Shenzhen Banking – Defying Domestic and International Standards

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