What is Compensation Account? Definition of Compensation Account, Compensation Account Meaning and Concept

Compensation accounts are bank accounts opened by Colombian residents in foreign financial entities that do not require going to an exchange market intermediary (IMC) each time they want to make foreign currency transfers, although they must be registered with the Banco de la República and They must comply with information obligations.

The clearing accounts are an instrument of the Colombian exchange regime established by the National Government to facilitate the operations of the exchange market and whose rules regulate the possession, transformation and negotiation of currencies in the country, through mechanisms to carry out operations with foreign currency.

The foreign exchange market is made up of all the currencies that must necessarily be channeled through the IMC channel or through clearing accounts and by the currencies that, despite being exempt from this obligation, are channeled through these channels in a way voluntary.

How are compensation accounts managed?

It is managed exclusively through two legally authorized channels:

  • The channel offered by BMIs.
  • Compensation accounts, obligatorily registered with the Banco de la República.

IMCs are Exchange Market Intermediaries such as commercial and mortgage banks, financial corporations, commercial finance companies, La Financiera Energética Nacional (FEN), Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia (BANCOLDEX), brokerage firms, brokerage firms, exchange intermediation and special financial services companies.

Features of clearing accounts

The characteristics of this type of account are the following:

  • They allow operations in any currency : Both to send and to receive money.
  • They make it possible to carry out operations in currencies that are compulsory to channel, as well as voluntary ones: These are operations whose transfer of currencies must be carried out through IMC or clearing accounts, and not through the free market. For example, imports and exports, foreign debt operations by residents and capital investments abroad and their returns, among others.
  • They serve as a compensation mechanism : Since they must register it with the Banco de la República.
  • They are subject to the Colombian tax regime.

Opening a clearing account also carries obligations for its holder. For example:

  • Register the compensation account with the Banco de la República : Within one month from the first mandatory channeling operation carried out.
  • Electronic reporting of all movements made on a monthly basis : This is done through a single form (form 10) "Registration, Report of Movements and / or Cancellation of Compensation Account", according to the official website of the Banco de la República. This form is also used both for registering compensation accounts and for canceling them.
  • Declare all movements before the DIAN on a quarterly basis (Directorate of National Taxes and Customs) : This figure is in charge of supervision and surveillance in relation to the exchange rate regime in relation to imports and exports of goods and services and compliance with the obligations of DIAN, among other aspects.
  • Submit external debt reports : If the holder carries out international active or passive credit operations.

What benefits does this mechanism bring?

Among the most notable benefits or utilities of compensation accounts are the following:

  • Mitigate the exchange difference.
  • Carry out operations in foreign currencies between Colombian residents.
  • Make reimbursements for export and import operations.
  • Carry out financial investments or in real assets abroad.
  • It encourages the internationalization of the economy.
  • Stimulates foreign investment.
  • They provide freedom to economic agents in foreign trade matters.