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关于外汇局针对外币监督的新政策 Insights on SAFE’s New Rules
2/15/2017 admin发布

注: 本文英文原文由MWE中国律师事务所Kevin Qian团队于2017年1月25日撰写发布。太平洋联合中文部门翻译此中文版本。本文尊重原作者, 所有内容以英文原文为主。

Note: This English article was produced by MWE China Law firm Kevin Qian’s team; below Mandarin version was translated by Pacific Union China concierge for Mandarin readers’ reference; please refer to the English version as the original source.

关于外汇局针对外币监督的新政策,我们希望与您分享一些我们的初步观点与评论,供您参考。

1. 新政策解读

1.1 新政策要点:

* 个人需要提供准确完整的申请

在购买外汇时,个人需要仔细阅读这些规则,并诚信完整地填写申请,保证承担相应的法律责任。

* 强化银行的可靠性与合规检查职责

银行需要加强合规管理,认真贯彻执行经营原则,并完善对客户身份的查验。

* 强化对违法行为的处罚执行

如果有任何个人违反法律法规,例如提供虚假申请,通过欺诈手段获得外汇,行骗,滥用并非法转移外汇,将被列入“观察名单”,限制或禁止其在未来一定时期内购买外汇,依法将其行为纳入个人信用记录,对其处以行政处罚,对其进行反洗钱调查,将其移交至司法机关进行进一步处理等。

1.2 新政策的直接影响

请注意,即使未出台新的规定,根据外汇局现行法律法规,中国个人也不得通过资本账户进行海外支付。除通过QDII(合格境内机构投资者)等规定渠道之外,中国居民所购买的外汇只能通过经常账户进行国外支付,包括私人旅行、海外学习、公务与因公出国、探亲、海外就医、货物贸易、购买非投资性保险、咨询服务等。

即便如此,考虑到新政策的效力,一些现有的操作,如通过一些亲戚朋友转移外汇,或者使用第三方汇款服务以完成在中国境外的投资,将面临严格的详细检查与禁止。

但是,对于通过QDII进行投资、通过国内担保/押金进行海外贷款,通过中国企业直接投资等行为,大门依然为其敞开。

2. 新政策的背景

目前,新政策的出台尚未改变针对个人的外汇管理政策,也未改变个人购买外汇的年度定额。相反,新政策表明,(1)个人需要购买外汇时,提供真实的购汇理由将越来越重要,且(2)中央银行将密切监视各个商业银行的购汇业务。

鉴于欧洲与美国的政治局势,投资局面存在一定的不稳定性。因此,中国加紧了对外币兑换的控制。对于人民币兑换的强化管理可能只是暂时的,人民币最终将实现自由兑换。中国的中央银行有两个主要目标:(1)人民币将成为国际货币;(2)人民币将成为强势货币。

但是,根据这两个目标,政府需要考虑三个问题:(1)中央银行必须保持对货币发行的绝对主权;(2)人民币汇率必须保持相对稳定;且(3)在资本账户下进行境内外投资的货币能够自由流通。在当下的环境中,要实现前两个子目标,需要以第三个子目为代价。

当然,中央银行将保持其对货币发行的绝对主权且不会因外来影响而做出改变。现在,只能选择剩下两个子目标中的其中一个。政府已经确定,当下保持相对稳定的人民币汇率更为重要,因此,政府暂时牺牲了人民币的自由兑换以及将其作为国际货币的目标。这一政策主张的主要目的是避免由于外币储备金不受控制地流出而造成的人民币汇率波动或者国外政治的不稳定性。但是,这一变化可能是一项短时期的战略调整,不会从根本上改变中央银行的最终目标——使人民币成为强势的国际货币,从而实现自由兑换。三年前,为了鼓励国内投资,中央银行已经放松了人民币对美元或其他货币的兑换政策(当时的外汇储备为35000亿美元),这实际上减轻了中央银行持有大量外汇所带来的负担。彼时也有一些资本账户下伪装的货币自由流动,例如沪港通,国外保险产品以及通过国内担保的海外贷款。

因此,我们乐观地认为,当前的新政策只是暂时的,将持续8至12个月。

3. 对中国资本流动的影响

根据该政策变动的背景与先前的实践经验,针对资本账户下中国境外外汇汇款的严格制度只是暂时的战略安排。因此,其对美国房地产市场的影响同样也是短时期的。考虑到中国在美的房地产投资约有50%位于加利福尼亚州,因此短期内该政策将会造成房地产市场的停滞。但是,随着新政策有效性逐渐降低,美国房地产市场将迎来明显的回弹,满足市场的现实需求。

4. 发展趋势

目前,中国高资产净值人士正在寻求资产的多样化。他们愿意在美国投资,主要是希望实现资产的保值与增值,同时满足对养老、医疗、教育、空气质量等的需求。此外,相对而言,美国的房地产市场状况良好。从国际经济与政治的角度来看,中国政府准备向特朗普政府做出让步,并与美国合作推行“一带一路”计划。双方的合作将大于冲突。因此,双方有望携手管理世界市场,处理艰难的世界性问题,相互依赖并共同营造公平合作的环境。

5. 结论

针对人民币兑换的新规则与新政策可能只是暂时的,所带来的影响有限。从长远来看,随着政策的效力逐渐降低,美国境内投资的吸引力逐渐增大,人民币有望实现在资本账户下的自由流动。

Regarding the SAFE’s new rules on foreign currency scrutiny, we would like to share with you some of our initial thoughts and comments for your consideration:

1. Interpretation of the New Rules

1.1 Key points of the new rules:

* Individuals required to make faithful and complete declarations

When purchasing foreign exchange, individuals are required to carefully read these rules and faithfully and completely make declarations, and make a promise to bear corresponding legal liabilities.

* Strengthening banks’ authenticity and compliance check obligations

Banks are required to strengthen compliance management, carefully implement the business principles, and improve client identification.

* Strengthening the implementation of punishment for violations

If any individual commits acts in violation of laws and regulations such as making a false declaration, fraudulently obtaining foreign exchange, practicing fraud, misusing and illegally transferring foreign exchange, he will be placed on a “Watch List”, will be restricted or prohibited from purchasing foreign exchange for a certain period into the future, will be incorporated into personal credit records according to law, will be imposed administrative penalties, will be subject to an anti-money laundering investigation, will be transferred to a judicial authority for further handling, etc..

1.2 Direct implications of the new rules

Please note that even without the new rules, Chinese individuals are not allowed under the existing SAFE laws and regulations to make overseas payments under the capital account. Except by the specified channels such as QDII (Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor), foreign exchange purchased by Chinese residents can only be used for foreign payments under the current account, including private travel, overseas study, official business, and going abroad on business, visiting relatives, overseas medical treatment, trading of goods, purchasing of non-investment insurance, consulting services, etc.

That said, given the effectiveness of the new rules, some existing practices, such as transferring foreign exchange through a number of relatives and friends, or use of third-party remittance services, for the purpose of making investments outside of China would be highly scrutinized and prohibited.

However, the door remains open for practices such as investment through QDII, overseas loan under domestic guarantee/deposit, overseas direct investment by Chinese companies, etc.

2. Background of the New Rules

Currently, the issuance of the new rules actually does not change the foreign exchange management policies for individuals, nor does it change individuals’ annual quota for purchase of foreign exchange. Instead, the new rules indicate (1) an increased emphasis on requiring individuals to provide a genuine reason when purchasing foreign exchange and (2) that the central bank will closely monitor the foreign exchange purchase business of various commercial banks.

Given the political situations in Europe and the United States, the investment landscape has been somewhat uncertain. In response, China has tightened its controls over foreign currency exchange. It is hopeful that the enhanced supervision of conversion of the Chinese yuan (“RMB”) will not be permanent and, eventually, the RMB will be converted freely. China’s central bank has two major goals: (1) that the RMB will become an international currency; and (2) the RMB will become a strong currency.

However, under these two goals, there are three sub-issues that require the government’s consideration: (1) the central bank must maintain absolute sovereignty to issue currency; (2) the RMB exchange rates must remain relatively stable; and (3) the free flow of currency for inbound and outbound investment under the capital account. In the current environment, the success of the first two sub-issues comes at the expense of the third.

Naturally, the central bank will maintain its sovereign authority over the issuance of currency, and will not make changes based on foreign influence. . At this time, only one of sub-issues two and three can be chosen. The government has determined that maintaining a relatively stable RMB exchange rate is of greater importance at this time and, therefore, has sacrificed the free exchange of RMB and its use as a global currency for the time being. One of the main reasons for the policy position is to avoid a volatile RMB exchange rate due to uncontrolled outflow of foreign currency reserves or foreign political volatility. However, this change is likely a short-term strategic adjustment that will not radically change the central bank’s ultimate goal of making RMB a strong international currency that can be freely exchanged. Three years ago, in order to encourage domestic investment, the central bank had relaxed policies for conversion from RMB to USD or other currencies (the foreign exchange reserve at that time was USD 3500 billion), which actually eased the central bank’s burden of holding a huge amount of foreign exchange on hand. At that time, there were also some disguised free flows of currencies under the capital account, such as Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, foreign insurance products, and overseas loans with domestic guarantees.

Therefore, we can say optimistically that the current new policy is short-term and is expected to last between 8 to 12 months.

3. Impact on Chinese Capital Flow

Based on the background of this policy shift and the previous practices, it appears that the strict system regarding foreign exchange remittance out of China under the capital account is only a temporary strategic arrangement. Therefore, its impact on the US real property market should likewise be short-term. Considering that about 50% of Chinese real estate investment in the U.S. is located in California, it will cause a stagnation of the real property market in the short term. However, as the validity of the new policy gradually diminishes, the US real property market will see a significant rebound, which conforms to the real demand of the market.

4. Forecast of the trend

Currently, China’s high net worth individuals are seeking diversification of their assets. Their willingness to invest in the US is primarily based on the desire for preservation and increase of the value of their assets, and also their demands in respect to pensions, medical care, education, air quality, etc. Furthermore, relatively speaking, the US real estate market performs better. From the perspective of international economics and politics, the Chinese government is ready to compromise with the Trump administration and work with the US on the “One Road, One Belt” program. The cooperation is wider than the conflict. Therefore, it is possible that both parties work together to reasonably manage the world market, handle tough world affairs, rely on each other, and jointly create a fair cooperative environment.

5. Conclusion

The new rules and policy regarding the exchange of RMB are likely short-term and the impact should be limited. As their validity gradually diminishes and the US becomes increasingly attractive to inbound investment, the RMB is very likely to realize free flow under the capital account in the long-term.