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I have an account with Citibank in Taiwan, and I want to wire money into it from the US from an Ally Bank account.

Ally Bank doesn't do international wire transfers. I need to provide an American routing number and account number.

Therefore, Citibank in Taiwan gave me the following wire instructions, which involves Citibank in New York as an intermediary, in order to receive the wire from Ally: https://www.citibank.com.tw/global_docs/chi/ap/ap_remittance_usd.htm

Now, every other time I've sent a wire involving an intermediary bank, the wire instructions include the account number of the beneficiary bank at the intermediary bank. I would put the beneficiary bank's account number as the recipient, then include the actual recipient's account number in the notes. Notably, these instructions are missing this account number.

Would I be correct to submit my wire transfer to Ally, putting Citibank New York's ABA number, 021000089, and my Citibank Taiwan account number? Or is this missing an instruction? If I did this, would Citibank in New York be able to just look up my account number and just know to forward it to their Taiwan branch?

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  • Wait - your last sentence has a typo ? You mean, "citi NY will look up the account number of citi Taipei" .. ?
    – Fattie
    Jan 14 at 12:49
  • @Fattie I meant: if I just sent the domestic wire listing the Citi NY ABA number and my Citi Taiwan account #, would they just automatically look up my account # and see that it's a Taiwan account and automatically forward it to Taiwan? As far as I know there are no other instructions in the wire that are indicating that my account is in Taiwan, and the Citibank branches in other countries don't work like that.
    – ieatpizza
    Jan 14 at 12:54
  • AHHHH, no that is fucked. You HAVE TO somehow indicate that the beneficiary bank is Citi-Taipei. (As I mention in my answer, it's "ok but not great" if it does not include the number of Citi-Taipei.)
    – Fattie
    Jan 14 at 12:56
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Note!

Ideally use ofx or transferwise


Regarding the question as such:

Now, every other time I've sent a wire involving an intermediary bank, the wire instructions include the account number of the beneficiary bank at the intermediary bank

You are completely correct, that's the norm / ideal situation

The "end" bank, Citi-Taiwan has an account number at Citi-NY, let's say "666888666".

Normally the instructions would include the "666888666".

to paraphrase:

Will City-NY just look up the number 666888666 being the account number of Citi-Taiwan, even though it is not in the instructions?

Yes!

It is relatively common to not include the end-banks's account number, since, the middle bank can look it up.

Sometimes this results in a problem and sometimes it works perfectly.

In this case since it's the same brand of bank one could possibly say there is more chance of success.

The bottom line is:

Now, every other time I've sent a wire involving an intermediary bank, the wire instructions include the account number of the beneficiary bank at the intermediary bank

  • Just as you imply, that's the "ideal situation"

  • For better or worse, often that information is missing

  • Fortunately (so to speak), it "usually / often" works when that number is missing

But wait ...

I believe OP is saying that, at Ally bank, there is literally no place to include the actual beneficiary bank (ie, City-Taipei).

So, not only is there no place for the "666888666", but the OP is saying there's literally no place to indicate that it is indeed Citi-Taipei.

If so, the situation is "completely screwball"

I've never heard of this, having sent zillions of wires, but, there could be some extra-special arrangement Citi alone has about this.

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  • So then, should I bug Citibank Taiwan until they give me this account number? There is a "special instructions" field on Ally to send wires, but to my knowledge this isn't actually reviewed until after the wire is deposited into the original account number (so, whoever is lucky enough to have the same account number as me, but in the US, would receive my wire transfer, with a note that would be totally meaningless to them).
    – ieatpizza
    Jan 14 at 13:02
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    @ieatpizza I think you should really bug Citibank Taiwan for this. Even Citibank Hong Kong publishes the correspondent bank acount number for the same ABA.
    – base64
    Jan 14 at 13:04
  • Alright, will do. Thank you!
    – ieatpizza
    Jan 14 at 13:07
  • "so, whoever is lucky enough to have the same account number as me, but in the US, would receive my wire transfer, with a note that would be totally meaningless to them" THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT I have seen that happen many times - it is a disaster. (I owned a business which indeed sent wire transfers as the basis of the business.) It's a nightmare when that happens.
    – Fattie
    Jan 14 at 13:28
  • @base64 , I fear the problem is not getting that info. But. The problem is Ally doesn't comprehend / use that info.
    – Fattie
    Jan 14 at 13:28
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Update: just to answer my own question with an answer probably specific to Citibank.

I bugged the banker for an intermediary account number, and they went up the chain of people involved in foreign transfers and told me everyone insisted that the instructions as provided are complete and accurate.

And, so I sent the wire transfer, listing the ABA # of Citibank New York, my Taiwanese account number, and my name. And, indeed, it has successfully made it to my account in Taiwan, so I guess Citibank must just have some special arrangement that allows Citibank in New York to automatically see that my account number is a Taiwanese account, without needing the wire to actually mention that.

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