A man is silhouetted in front of a Bank of China's logo at its branch office in Beijing July 14, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Last week, when China Central Television leveled money-laundering allegations against Bank of China Ltd., the state-run broadcaster's report prompted the revelation of a previously unannounced government program that enables individuals to transfer their yuan and convert it into dollars or other currencies overseas.Offered by some banks in the southern province of Guangdong, across the border from Hong Kong, the trial program was introduced in 2011 for overseas property purchases and emigration and doesn't constitute money laundering, Bank of China said in a July 9 statement. China's foreign-exchange rules cap the maximum amount of yuan that individuals are allowed to convert at $50,000 each year and ban them from transferring the currency abroad directly.The Guangdong branch of China's currency regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, picked Bank of China, China Citic Bank Corp. and a foreign lender to let individuals transfer yuan abroad in a trial the banks were told not to promote, Time Weekly reported in April 2013 .Customers deposit yuan with HSBC's mainland unit or purchase its wealth-management products, and the bank's overseas branch then issues a foreign-currency denominated mortgage using the China deposits as collateral, the person said.
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