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European Union: 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive Enters into Force

(July 16, 2018) On July 9, 2018, the amendment of the European Union (EU) Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5th AMLD) entered into force. The AMLD obligates certain entities to fulfill customer due diligence requirements when they conduct business transactions and have in place policies and procedures to detect, prevent, and report money laundering and terrorist financing. […]

China: Government Indicates All Virtual Currency Platforms Have Withdrawn from Market

(July 12, 2018) On July 6, 2018, the People’s Bank of China indicated that the platforms trading virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, and dealing with initial coin offerings (ICOs) in China have “basically all safely withdrawn from the market.” Chinese authorities had identified 88 virtual currency trading platforms and 85 ICO platforms since September 2017 […]

China: Shanghai Financial Court to Be Established

(May 14, 2018) On April 27, 2018, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a decision to establish a specialized financial court in Shanghai called the Shanghai Financial Court. The decision took effect on April 28, 2018. (Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui Changwuweiyuanhui Guanyu Sheli Shanghai Jinrong Fayuan de Jueding [NPCSC Decision on Establishing the […]

Iran: IMF Evaluates Iran’s Legislative and Institutional Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

(Apr. 13, 2018) In its March 2018 report assessing the economic situation in Iran, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that Iran had made progress in reforming its policies on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and was taking steps to improve the country’s connections to the international banking and trade system. (IMF, […]

Israel: Supreme Court Grants Temporary Injunction Ordering Israeli Bank to Provide Banking Services to Bitcoin-Related Account

(Mar. 16, 2018) On February 25, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting a bank from blocking activities in an account, held by a company trading in bitcoin, until an appeal over the district court ruling recognizing the legitimacy of a permanent authorization for such blockage has been decided. (CA 6389/17 Bits of […]

Germany: Federal Ministry of Finance Publishes Guidance on VAT Treatment of Virtual Currencies

(Mar. 13, 2018) On February 27, 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Finance published guidance on value-added-tax (VAT) treatment of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. It determined that transactions to exchange a traditional currency for bitcoin or other virtual currencies and vice versa constitute the taxable supply of other services for consideration, but fall under […]

European Union: New EU Legislative Framework to Regulate Financial Markets Enters into Force

(Feb. 27, 2018) On January 3, 2018, the European Union’s (EU’s) Second Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID II) entered into force with the main objective of strengthening investor protection and increasing transparency in financial markets. (Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on Markets in Financial […]

China: New Rules Increase Restrictions on Overseas Cash Withdrawals

(Jan. 24, 2018) On December 29, 2017, China’s foreign exchange regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), issued a circular regulating overseas cash withdrawals using Chinese bank cards. (Guojia Waihui Guanliju Guanyu Guifan Yinhangka Jingwai Da’e Tiqu Xianjin JIaoyi de Tongzhi [SAFE Circular on Regulating Large Overseas Cash Withdrawals on Bank Cards] (SAFE Circular) […]

Indonesia: Circulars Issued on Bank Accounts for Foreigners, Other Financial Services

(Sept. 18, 2015) Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority has recently issued a number of regulations and circulars, including a Regulation on Framework Provisions on the National Economic Stimulus for Banks (Regulation No. 11/POJK.03/2015) and a Regulation on Framework Provisions of the National Economic Stimulus for Islamic Banks and Sharia Businesses (Regulation No. 12/POJK.03/2015, in addition to […]

Italy: Updated Legislation on Credit Entities and on Strengthening of Bank of Italy

(July 17, 2015) On June 27, 2015, new legislation on the supervision of credit entities and on the strengthening of the country’s central bank, Decree-Law No. 72, entered into effect in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 72 of May 12, 2015, Implementation of EU Directive 2013/36, That Amends Directive 2002/87/CE and Repeals Directives 2006/48/CE and 2006/49/CE, Concerning […]