Sunday, December 11, 2011

Welcome to China Part 2

Banking

We still have some RMB leftover at ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) that needs to be used up; that is, withdrawn at an ATM and spent.  But first we had to move the money from the fixed term to the regular account.  Unfortunately I cannot remember our password to do so online.  Armed with our passports, we made a visit the local branch.  We were immediately told that the ID on file is under John's old passport number and since the old and new passports have different numbers, they cannot be sure that they are dealing with the same person.  No, a photocopy of the old passport is not acceptable.

Upon learning we are not in the habit of cruising around the world with our stack of old passports, the young bank clerk suggested that we visit the branch where we originally opened the account where they may be able to recall the old records from the archive; by the way, the branch now has a new location.  

Fortified by lunch and armed with the addition of a photocopy of the old passport, we found the second branch.  The nice branch manager conceded that the photocopy and new passport are the same person.  However, when all the scanned papers showed up at a remote authority, the remote authority discerned that the account name JOHNMECKLEY is different from the passports, though all parties understood that when the account was opened in 2005, the bank software only allowed 11 characters for names.  So the recall from archive was necessary after all.  Our contact info was noted.  When the recall is completed in about three business days, we will be notified, upon when we can make yet another visit.

Luckily we were allowed to move the funds from fixed to regular, so at least we came away with some spending money.

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