To boost AML & CTF, China limits overseas withdrawals


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China moves to limit money laundering, tax evasion via overseas ATMs

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced last week that it will place a hard limit on the amount that may be withdrawn from domestic bank accounts via overseas ATM transactions. In its announcement described in a Reuters report, SAFE officials cited concerns about money laundering, terror financing, and tax evasion.

Withdrawal amounts will be capped at 100,000 yuan per year. This is approximately $15,000 in U.S. dollars. Account holders who exceed that limit will have their withdrawal privileges suspended for the rest of the year and for the year following, according to the announcement.

Domestic banks will be responsible for tracking overseas withdrawals via ATM and will be responsible for enforcing suspension of withdrawal privileges. In addition to the yearly limit of 100,000 yuan, SAFE has established a maximum daily withdrawal of 10,000 yuan for overseas withdrawals.

For several years, China has sought to stem unregulated outflow of domestic wealth by citizens attempting to move vast amounts of wealth out of the country, often by money laundering. These new regulations, the tracking and reporting of which will fall to domestic banks, is a part of that effort.

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