☆ Brief Introduction
ICBC (London) plc Overseas Witness Account refers to the service provided by the ICBC branches within China for clients to open individual accounts at ICBC (London) plc. This service allows clients to open new account in advance so that it is more convenient to remit before their departure and the account will be activated for them to use on their arrival to the UK.
☆ Special features
Fund Security: Clients will be able to safely transfer money from China to their individual accounts opened at ICBC (London), which avoids the risk generated from carrying large amount of cash or draft when crossing the border.
Chinese Service: Clients will enjoy thorough and satisfactory Chinese service provided at ICBC (London), which avoids the potential inconvenience caused by language or culture differences.
Convenient Usage: Clients are able to complete daily transactions including tuition fees, residence rental fee, and other utility fees through online banking. Meanwhile, the debit cards issued by ICBC (London) will meet the requirements of cash withdrawal and card purchase.
Fee Benefits: Clients are not required to pay any account management fees; this includes no annual fee from online banking and debit card services; no transaction fee will be charged when the client uses debit card to withdraw cash from the ATM in the UK; GBP Remittances instructed to a UK beneficiary will be free of charge via online and mobile banking and 50% discount will be applied on the transaction fee from international remittances.
☆ Suitable Users
The service is applicable to overseas student customers obtaining valid visa issued by the British government (The valid period of the visa shall exceed three months).
☆ Account Opening Process
Step 1: Clients are required to provide the following application documents to domestic delegates (branches), including original copies and photocopies. They will then fill in the application form and complete the commission fee payment (please inquire with local branches regarding the charges). Application documents must include identification certificate, proof of address and source of funds. Detailed explanations regarding relevant documents are as following:
Passport of the applicant
Valid visa issued by the British government(valid at least 6 months, including 6 months)
Offer Letter of admission of British school (only for international students)
Resident identification card of the applicant (only for immigration clients)
（2）Proof of Address
Bank statement from any bank dated within the last 3 months and UK utility bills (water, gas, electricity bills) within the last 3 months can both be considered as proof of address. Students with no proof of address can ask the school to provide proof of address. The proof of address must be translated into English, and the address has to be a valid residence address which can receive the confirmation letter of the new account from the bank.
（3）Source of Funds Documents
Acceptable documents which provide confirmation/proof of the incoming funds of the client's account are employee payslips, HMRC tax coding letter and/or letter from accountant (for sole traders), the proof of personal investment share bonus, the certificate of sale of property and the certificate of deposit dated back 6 months.
For international students, the source of funds can come be provided by parents, guardians or the third-party sponsors. In addition, the source of funds is also acceptable if it's confirmation from the Home Office i.e. tuition fee payment or the proof of adequate living expenses.
For investment immigration clients, they are required to provide the proof of funds which confirms the amount of money which is required for investment immigration, and a reasonable explanation is provided.
Step 2: Domestic branches organise to send the relevant documents to ICBC (London).
Step 3: After ICBC (London) confirms the client meets the requirements of opening account, the client will receive account number within 7-10 working days. ICBC (London) will inform the client once the account is successfully opened.
Step 4: After the client arrives in the UK, they will need to present the identification certificate which was previously used to apply for the opening of the account. They are also required to advise us of their updated UK residence address. The client's personal online banking, mobile banking and debit card service will also be activated at this point.
Remittances, there are three types of fees involved in international remittance, including commission fee of outward remittance, transfer charges from intermediary bank and the fee from receiving remittance. During this promotion, it is free of charge for international remittance if it is transferred from domestic ICBC branches mobile banking channel. More specifically, it is free of charge at all three stages of international remittance, the sterling can be transferred from China to the UK without realising any charges (please refer to the latest information). Meanwhile, ICBC (London) removes the outward transaction fee on remittances within the UK (only valid for online banking and mobile banking, the fee for the remittance transferred over the counter is £12 per transaction). This means it is free of charge for clients to transfer sterling to their other British bank accounts through ICBC (London).
In terms of card usage, it is very convenient to use the international credit card issued by domestic ICBC branches overseas and there is no transaction fee generated. However, if clients wish to withdraw cash from overseas, relatively higher transaction fee will be charged. For instance, through the settlement network of VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, there will be a 2%-2.5% transaction fee. By using the MASTER debit card issued by ICBC (London), clients can complete cash withdrawal transactions free of charge from any ATM cash machine within the UK. Therefore, the combination of international credit cards from domestic ICBC branches and ICBC (London) debit cards can minimise unnecessary transaction fees.
☆ Service Channel
Please contact local ICBC branches before opening overseas account and contact ICBC (London) directly after the account is opened to activate other services. Our contact details are:
ICBC (London) Plc, 81 King William Street, London EC4N 7BG, UK
Telephone: 0044 20 7398 9538 /0044 20 7398 9570