Taiwan Stock Exchange - Rules & Regulations Directory

History

Title:
Offshore Banking Act(2009.04.29)

Article 1
This Act is promulgated to promote international financial activities, to establish a regional financial center and to authorize banks to set up offshore banking branches within the territory of the Republic of China (“R.O.C.”).

Article 2
Financial Supervisory Commission (“FSC”) shall be the competent administrative authority and the Central Bank of China (“CBC”) shall be the competent operational authority.

Article 3
The following types of banks may, through their head offices, apply to the competent authorities for obtaining the approval of the establishment of an offshore banking branch with a separate set of accounts to conduct international banking activities:
1. Foreign banks authorized by the CBC to engage in foreign exchange businesses within the R.O.C.
2. Foreign banks authorized to have a representative office in the R.O.C.
3. Reputable foreign banks approved by the competent authorities.
4. Domestic banks authorized by the CBC to engage in foreign exchange businesses.

Article 4
An offshore banking branch may only conduct the following types of business:
1. Accepting foreign currency deposits from natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies within the territory of the R.O.C , or financial institutions within or outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
2. Extending credit in foreign currency to natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within or outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
3. Selling foreign currency financial debentures or other certificates of debt issued by the head office to natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within or outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
4. Undertaking proprietary dealing, brokerage and agency activities of foreign currency securities for natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within or outside the territory of the R.O.C.
5. Conducting the issuance, advising and negotiation of letters of credit in foreign currency, and import/export collection for natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
6. Conducting foreign currency remittances and exchanges, foreign currency transactions, borrowing or lending of funds, and buying or selling of foreign currency denominated securities, between the said offshore banking branch and other financial institutions, and between the said offshore banking branch and natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
7. Underwriting securities issued outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
8. Book-keeping and managing for foreign currency loans extended outside the territory of the R.O.C.;
9. Conducting custody, agency and consultation businesses related to the businesses stipulated above for natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within or outside the territory of the R.O.C.; and
10. Other foreign currency businesses approved by the competent authorities.
The term, “financial institutions within the territory of the R.O.C.” as used in the preceding section shall mean any financial institution approved by the Central Bank of China to engage in foreign exchange business.
Foreign exchange deposits of natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies within the territory of the R.O.C made with an offshore banking branch prior to January 6, 2006 may be terminated and remitted after termination by request made to such offshore banking branch and, in such circumstances, the restrictions prescribed in Section 1, Item 6, shall not apply.

Article 4-1
An offshore banking branch may authorize a bank which has been designated by the Central Bank of China to engage in foreign exchange business (a “Designated Bank”) to handle the business activities set out in the Paragraph 1 of the preceding Article. Such business handled by a Designated Bank shall be booked in its offshore banking branch.
The businesses which may be authorized to be handled by the Designated Bank includes cross straits financial activities approved by the competent authorities in accordance with the “Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area”. The control and supervision of such activities shall be handled in accordance with the regulations related to cross straits financial activities. The offshore banking branch shall coordinate and be responsible for such control and supervision.
If the Designated Bank charges the offshore banking branch reasonable fees for handling any of the offshore banking branch’s activities in order to pay for operating costs, such fees should be booked as the Designated Bank’s income and be subject to taxation; if the Designated Bank does not charge the offshore banking branch any such fees, the costs for handling the offshore banking branch’s businesses may not be booked as expenses.

Article 5
Unless otherwise provided in the Act, the conduction of the businesses specified in Article 4, Section 1, shall not be subject to the limitations of relevant Articles of the Statute Governing Foreign Exchange, the Banking Law and the Law Governing the Central Bank of China.
The FSC, after consulting with the CBC, shall set regulations for offshore banking branches concerning: credit extension to individual customer and related party and other transactions restrictions, examinations by the competent authorities or other appropriate institutions mandated thereby, the contents of the reports and means for submitting the reports regarding financial and business conditions, the qualifications of managers, utilization of funds and risk management.
An offshore banking branch established pursuant to Article 3, Items 2 and 3 of this Act shall appropriate working capital for its operations in the R.O.C. The minimum amount of the said working capital shall be stipulated by the FSC.

Article 5-1
Articles 32 to 33-2, 33-4 and 33-5 of the Banking Law shall apply mutatis mutandis to credits extended to related parties by an offshore banking branch.
In the event of any violation of Articles 32, 33, 33-2 or 33-4 of the Banking Law, the person responsible for such violation shall be punishable by imprisonment of no more than three years or detention and/or a fine of not less than Five Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$5,000,000) and not more than Twenty Five Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$25,000,000).

Article 5-2
In response to UN Resolutions and the needs of international cooperation, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) may, in conjunction with the Central Bank, after submitting to the Executive Yuan for approval, issue orders to specified banks to block the withdrawal, transfer, payment, or disbursement in, or otherwise take necessary measures against, accounts held by individuals, entities or institutions of certain countries or regions that are suspected of directly or indirectly using the accounts, money transfers, currencies or other instruments of payment to finance terrorism or terrorist organizations, or engage in activities threatening international security.
The FSC shall make public the above measures and deliver the same to the Legislative Yuan for approval within ten days after being public.
The measures shall become immediately void if the Legislative Yuan votes against.The said measures shall be lifted when causes thereof cease to exist.

Article 6
Natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies or financial institutions within the territory of the R.O.C. financed by an offshore banking branch shall be governed by applicable laws and regulations governing finance transactions with non-resident banks.

Article 7
An offshore banking branch accepting foreign currency deposits shall not:
1. accept foreign currency in cash ; and
2. allow the withdrawal of foreign currency deposits in New Taiwan Dollars.

Article 8
Unless approved by the CBC, an offshore banking branch shall not conduct exchanges or other transactions between foreign currencies and New Taiwan Dollars.

Article 9
An offshore banking branch shall not engage in direct investment and investment in real estate.

Article 10
The offshore banking branch of a domestic bank may operate in the same business premises as its head office, and the offshore banking branch of a foreign bank may operate in the same business premises as its branch appointed to engage in foreign exchange business.

Article 11
Deposits received by an offshore banking branch shall be exempt from deposit reserve requirements.

Article 12
Interest rates on deposits or loans of offshore banking branches may be determined between the offshore banking branch and its customers.

Article 13
Income of offshore banking branches shall be exempt from business income tax; however, income of offshore banking branches derived from credit extension to natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within the territory of the ROC shall be subject to taxation or exemptions as stipulated in the relevant income tax laws.

Article 14
Revenues of offshore banking branches shall be exempt from business tax; however, the business revenue of offshore banking branches derived from services to natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies and financial institutions within the territory of the R.O.C. shall be subject to taxation or exemptions as stipulated in relevant Value-added and Non-value-added Business Tax Act.

Article 15
All types of certificates used by offshore banking branches shall be exempt from stamp duties; provided, that certificates issued in connection with transactions with natural persons, juridical persons, government agencies or financial institutions within the territory of the R.O.C or with respect to business activities other than those specified in Article 4, Section 1, shall be subject to the Stamp Tax Act.

Article 16
Interests paid by offshore banking branches to financial institutions, and natural persons, juridical persons and government agencies outside the territory of the R.O.C. shall be exempt from withholding requirement on income tax.

Article 17
Offshore banking branches shall be exempt from loan loss reserve requirements, unless otherwise required by the laws of the country where the said offshore banking branch’s head office is located or required by the said country’s banking authority.

Article 18
Unless otherwise required by court order or law, offshore banking branches are under no obligation to disclose any information to third parties.

Article 19
Telecommunications equipment and information systems to be used by an offshore banking branch in connection with its head office and other international financial institutions may be imported upon case-by-case applications.

Article 20
After the end of each fiscal year, an offshore banking branch shall submit its operation report, balance sheet and income statement to the competent authorities. The competent authorities may at any time request the offshore banking branch to provide, within a given period of time, information concerning its business or financial conditions or other reports. However, offshore banking branches shall be exempt from the requirements to make public their balance sheets.

Article 21
(Deleted)

Article 21-1
If an offshore banking branch wishes to do any of the following, it should report same to the FSC for approval and notify the Central Bank of China:
1. Change of the institution’s name;
2. Change of the institution’s location;
3. Change of the responsible persons;
4. Change of the working capital;
5. Acquisition of all or a major part of the business or property of any other offshore banking branch, or transfer to any other offshore banking branch all or a major part of its business or property; or
6. Suspension, resumption or termination of the business.

Article 22
If an offshore banking branch commits any of the following acts, its responsible person shall be punishable by a fine of not less than One Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$1,000,000) and not more than Five Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$5,000,000):
1. Conducting any business not provided for in Article 4, Section 1 of this Act,
2. Violating Articles 7 , 8 or 9 of this Act,
3. Failing to submit the reports required under Article 20 of this Act, or failing to provide the information concerning the business or financial conditions or other reports pursuant to the same Article,
4. Failing to pay the license fee of offshore banking branch.
In the cases where the violations continue even after the punishment, the competent authorities may impose an additional fine of two to five times the original amount imposed amount shall be imposed each time. In addition, if the above deed is a serious one, the competent authority may impose the following punishments:
1. Suspension of the said offshore banking branch’s business operations for a specified period of time; or
2. Revocation of the license of the said offshore banking branch.

Article 22-1
In the event of any of the following violation of the regulations stipulated pursuant to Article 5, Section 2 by an offshore banking branch, a fine of not less than One Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$1,000,000) and not more than Five Million New Taiwan Dollars (NT$5,000,000) shall be imposed:
1. Any violation of restrictions on single customer credit extensions related party lending or other transaction restrictions;
2. Any concealment or destruction or hindrance or refusal of inspection of related documents or upon reasonable lack of response to questions from regulatory auditors or the competent authorities.
3. Any violation of any limitation set by the competent authorities on the type and amount of foreign currency securities invested by offshore banking branches.
If any defects remain uncured after an offshore banking branch has been punished according to the preceding section, a fine of two to five times the original amount imposed shall be imposed each time, and the following punishments may be imposed in serious situations:
1. suspension of the said offshore banking branch’s business operations for a specified period of time; or
2. Revocation of the license of the said offshore banking branch.
After the offshore banking branch has been punished in accordance with the preceding Article or the preceding two sections, it may claim reimbursement from the person(s) responsible for the violations.

Article 22-2
In the event of any violation of Article 21-1, by an offshore banking branch a fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand New Taiwan Dollars (NT$500,000) and not more than Two Million Five Hundred Thousand New Taiwan Dollars (NT$2,500,000) shall be imposed.

Article 23
The regulations for the implementation of this Act shall be set by the competent authorities.

Article 24
This Act shall become effective as of the date of its promulgation.

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