My wife has a Bank of China account that she opened in China. The phone number on the account is no longer active, the contract was cancelled long ago. She currently lives in the UK.

She wants to transfer some money out of her BoC account, but they won't let her. She has supplied all her details (ID card, family book, bank card) to her family in China, but they were unable to make a withdrawal or transfer.

We contacted BoC in the UK but they said they could not help.

Short of travelling back to China, is there any way to sort this out?

  • 1
    Your wife should contact the BoC branch in China where the account is held. Your wife (not you, nor other relatives) should make this enquiry, as the bank may well refuse to speak about the account (or what may be done with it) to anyone other than the account holder. May 13, 2022 at 17:07
  • 1
    Assuming the BOC has your wife’s signature on file, can she do things the old-fashioned way and send them a signed letter requesting transfer out of the funds?
    – Traveller
    May 13, 2022 at 22:07
  • The elephant in the room is: does Chinese law allow a Chinese bank to transfer money out of China? May 13, 2022 at 22:22
  • @DavidSupportsMonica she has tried that they won't do it over the phone.
    – user
    May 14, 2022 at 21:15
  • @Traveller that's not a bad idea, worth a try.
    – user
    May 14, 2022 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


Been there done that, albeit from HK, where we have BoC too. Nope, no can do. BoC HK and BoC are different companies. You have to go to the bank where you opened the account and get it unlocked. Yep, not just China, the very agency where the account was opened.

And if your wife is a non-Chinese, and doesn't have residency in China anymore, the bank account is not only frozen, but canceled. She can get the money back, but that's it.

  • 1
    Can confirm, in the end the only way to sort it out was to go to China.
    – user
    Sep 12, 2023 at 10:09

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