Bunq to Operate in USA, Exit Tax for Foreigners and Restrictions on Outbound Money Transfers in Russia – Market Trends
The Netherlands; USA
Bunq Wants to Operate in the American Market Through Expats
Bunq, the online bank, has applied for a banking license in the United States. If the license is granted, which could take up to a year, the bank will initially target European expats in the US and Americans living in Europe.
According to founder and CEO Ali Niknam, there are nearly five million potential customers in the group that Bunq focuses on. Niknam says he has been walking around with this plan for years and started the first explorations a year and a half ago. He states that the expat group fits well with Bunq because the bank has always focused on internationally mobile people, such as digital nomads who can work anywhere in the world thanks to the internet.
Once the permit has been received, Bunq account holders will be able to open a US account to carry out all normal banking transactions, including payments with debit and credit cards.
Currently, Europeans who want to study or work in the United States often find it difficult to open an account with an American bank.
According to Niknam, the expat market is ‘a first step’ on the American market. He may later target the other 300 million Americans, he says. Niknam thinks that Bunq’s slogan ‘bank of the free’ will appeal to Americans.
In mid-March, Bunq reported that it has approximately €2.3 billion in assets under management. It recently raised its savings rate in the Netherlands to win the favor of savers. Bunq was founded in 2012 and made a profit for the first time last year.
Ali Niknam, founder and CEO of Bunq, has indicated that he is “extremely proud” of Bunq’s expansion into the American market. He noted that, apart from VanMoof, few Dutch consumer brands have made the move to the US. He hopes that Bunq will make a name for itself in the United States.
Russia Specifies Exit Tax for Foreigners from Unfriendly Countries Selling Shares In Russian Companies
The Ministry of Finance of Russia has recently issued a press release on March 27, 2023, which specifies that foreign individuals associated with foreign states that impose sanctions against Russia and Russian legal entities and individuals are required to pay a “voluntary” exit tax of up to 10% to the federal budget when they sell shares in Russian companies.
This tax will be imposed when foreign individuals exit from the country.
The amount of the “voluntary contribution” will be:
- at least 5% of the market value of the assets, or
- at least 10% of the market value of the assets if they are sold at a discount of over 90% of the market value.
The sale must also be approved by the Commission for Control of Foreign Investments.
Russian Central Bank Extends Restrictions on Outbound Money Transfers for Six Months
As per the website of the financial regulator, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation has announced the extension of the restrictions on money transfers abroad for an additional six-month period.
The restrictions prohibit individuals residing in Russia and friendly countries from transferring an amount exceeding $1 million or its equivalent in another currency to any foreign bank account within a month.
These restrictions will remain in effect from April 1 to September 30, 2023.
The restrictions also include a limit on money transfers made through money transfer systems. The limit is set at $10,000 or the equivalent in another currency per month. The amount of the transfer will be calculated based on the official exchange rate of the ruble at the time the bank receives the transaction order.
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