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Management for Cross Border Withdrawals Tightened to Prevent Laundering

Management for Cross Border Withdrawals Tightened to Prevent LaunderingChina tightens management of cross border cash withdrawals by UnionPay bank card holders to prevent money laundering. These cardholders are advised not to withdraw large amounts of cash overseas as the country’s foreign exchange regulator, which is the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

To add to the current daily restriction of 10,000 yuan, each UnionPay card have an annual withdrawal limit of 100,000 yuan or its equivalent in other currencies starting next year. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange said from October until the end of this year each UnionPay card may be used to withdraw but only at the maximum of 50,000 yuan. Those violating the restrictions will be placed on a watch list and is banned from withdrawing cash overseas. Residents holding Chinese issued Visa and Mastercard are also subjected to daily and annual limits in overseas withdrawals.

In addition to the current daily restriction of 10,000 yuan ($1,573), each UnionPay card will have an annual withdrawal limit of 100,000 yuan or its equivalent in other currencies starting Jan 1, SAFE said. From Oct 1 to the end of the year, each card may be used to withdraw no more than 50,000 yuan. Anyone who violates the restrictions will be added to a watch list and banned from withdrawing cash overseas. Holders of Chinese-issued Visa and MasterCards will also be subject to daily and annual limits on overseas withdrawals. Since 2008 the State Administration of Foreign Exchange have been rolling out policies that encourages cross border use of bank cards which include UnionPay cards.

But recent monitoring results showed that some overseas UnionPay cardholders were frequently withdrawing abnormally large amounts of cash that foreign financial regulatory authorities warned against. UnionPay cardholders are asked to swipe their cards when paying for bills since the cards are now accepted in more than 150 countries and regions, from shopping malls, tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.



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