In what will undoubtedly be seen as another step in Beijing’s effort in the battle against corruption and the proceeds of corrupt transactions, the Chinese central bank has entered into a cooperation agreement with Macau’s Monetary Authority that will result in additional levels of cooperation between the central bank and the Special Administrative Region’s financial regulator.
On August 21, 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Macau’s Monetary Authority. Only limited information regarding the memorandum was made available to the public. The brief release from the PBOC said that the memorandum, which is fully titled the Memorandum of Understanding on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Activities, will play an important role in "strengthening regional cooperation for anti-money laundering monitoring and promoting bilateral exchanges." The memorandum covers, among other things, the AML information exchange mechanism, mutual assistance and cooperation arrangements in on-site inspections, and measures to promote bilateral personnel exchange and training.
The PBOC’s announcement further stated that the memorandum is an important step in implementing recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force, a global anti-money laundering body. China became a full member of the FATF in 2007. The China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring & Analysis Center, a unit overseen by the PBOC, has also signed memoranda of understanding on the exchange of money laundering-related information with several foreign regulators, including the financial intelligence units in France, Korea, Macau, Hong Kong and Belgium.
What impact the memorandum will have on cross-border regulatory and criminal enforcement actions remains to be seen. In any event, it clearly suggests that a continued focus of PRC authorities in the fight against corruption will be the identification and confiscation of proceeds of crime.