Seeing as it’s been nearly eight months since I last wrote about this topic, I figured there’d be something new to say. But there really isn’t. The “best effort” negotiations conducted “as early as practicable” last summer with the aim of reaching a FATCA IGA “in advance of the January 2014 deadline in the legislation” have clearly produced no results, as law firm Dezan Shira’s China Briefing noted last week. Interestingly, mainland financial magazine Caijing reported on Dezan Shira’s article just yesterday — but only in English, not in Chinese. Other Compliance-Industrial Complex members are less honest about the lack of FATCA progress in China, and have taken to calling a pedestrian set of updated Chinese asset self-declaration regulations by the misleading name of “China FATCA” in an effort to generate hype.
The biggest genuine FATCA news I have to report is that finally, for the first time in nearly a year, a Hong Kong newspaper decided to let someone besides Patrick Yip at Deloitte and Jennifer Wong at KPMG say something about FATCA. Du Jinsong — apparently an MD in equity derivatives trading at Bank of China (International) Hong Kong — wrote a short opinion column in Wen Wei Po, one of Hong Kong’s “traditional left” pro-Beijing newspapers, telling us something we already know: Hong Kong’s finance industry would really like a FATCA IGA. What’s interesting about this column is the way in which he says it: he presents FATCA as a grand opportunity for Hong Kong to gain valuable “experience” with automatic information exchange and to help China to expand the previously-mentioned pedestrian set of updated asset self-declaration regulations into genuine control of the international financial system.