Annual cap set on UnionPay overseas cash withdrawals

September 30, 2015 10:55
The new UnionPay measures are intended to curb capital outflows and money-laundering activities. Photo:

Starting next year, China UnionPay card holders can only withdraw up to 100,000 yuan (US$15,734) in overseas cash each year.

The new restriction will be on top of the present daily withdrawal limit of 10,000 yuan, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Wednesday.

A special limit of 50,000 yuan will take effect from Thursday, National Day, until the end of the year.

The measures were adopted in response to the latest requirements set by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in an attempt to curb capital outflow and money laundering activities.

The SAFE earlier asked banks to step up their scrutiny of foreign exchange savings withdrawals that go beyond five times in a seven-day period and total at least US$10,000.

The new restrictions are likely to have a short-term impact on the use of UnionPay cards, especially by mainland gamblers who are used to withdraw money at shops in Macau casinos, thus possibly affecting the city's gaming industry, according to UBS AG analysts.

[Chinese versionl中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal