Fri, Nov 21, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Chunghwa plans to watch cross-strait money transfers

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

People wiring more than NT$500,000 (US$15,000) to China through Chunghwa Post’s cross-strait currency exchange service will have to report each transaction to the central bank to prevent cross-strait money laundering, the nation’s largest postal company said yesterday.

Under current rules, people in Taiwan can wire money to China, but the company will not accept money sent from China to Taiwan.

US DOLLARS

Chunghwa first changes the money into US dollars and sends it to designated banks in China via Citibank in New York.

After receiving the money from Citibank, banks in China then have to notify the recipients to come and claim their funds.

Recipients have to pay processing fees to withdraw their money from the banks. Each transaction is capped at US$30,000.

Following the agreement reached at the recent meeting between the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, Chunghwa Post will be allowed to accept money wired from China.

Both sides will still use US dollars as the clearing currency and recipients can claim their money the day after it is sent.

Chunghwa Post started offering the cross-strait money-wiring services in 1991.

As of last year, the company has wired more than NT$1.4 billion to China.

FSC APPROVAL

The company said yesterday that the service was regulated by the Financial Supervisory Committee (FSC), which is in charge of negotiating cross-strait currency exchanges with China.

The post office will offer the new service after it secures FSC approval.

Both sides still need to negotiate several issues, including the possibility of using yuan as the clearing currency, the company said.

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