Date
20 August 2017
Bank of China has been accused of helping the wealthy move large sums of money offshore. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Bank of China has been accused of helping the wealthy move large sums of money offshore. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Bank of China aiding ‘shadowy’ fund tranfers: CCTV

China has strict controls on fund outflows, but there is always a way to get around the problem.

State broadcaster CCTV has disclosed that Bank of China (BOC), one of the nation’s biggest state-owned banks, has offered a service to help customers who are eager to transfer their wealth elsewhere.

“No matter how black your money is, the bank will always figure out how to make it clean and transfer overseas,” the report quoted a bank employee as saying.

The so-called You Huitong, a money-transferring service, is said to help wealthy Chinese send unlimited amount of funds beyond the borders after they apply for immigrant investor programs. Under China’s current rules, an individual is allowed to transfer no more than US$50,000 per annum out of the country.

The trick is to exchange funds into foreign currency at Bank of China’s overseas branches instead of mainland branches, in a bid to bypass the nation’s foreign exchange control, a bank employee said, according to CCTV. The scheme mainly targets customers who intend to migrate to North America, Europe or Australia.

The service, however, has not been promoted on the bank’s official website, and it’s not available at most of BOC’s branches across the country. The service was initiated by the Guangdong branch, and other branches will offer such service only with referral from the Guangdong branch, a bank employee told CCTV.

“We will not promote this service publicly until customers ask,” the reporter was told by a person at BOC’s Shenzhen branch, who also refused to provide any literature about the service.

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JZ/MY/RC

Freelance journalist

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