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China fines banks over wealth management transgressions

2018-05-08

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) recently fined three commercial banks for improper practices in wealth management.

China Merchants Bank, one of the country's biggest, was fined more than 65.7 million yuan (about 10 million U.S. dollars) for 14 violations, including guaranteeing principle on some wealth management products (WMP), the CBIRC said in an online statement Friday.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was fined more than 58.5 million yuan for 19 offences including allocating too much money raised from WMPs to risky assets.

Industrial Bank Financial Leasing Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Industrial Bank, was fined 1.1 million yuan for bundling the sales of WMPs with financial leasing business, among others.

The punishment comes as China's regulators toughen their stance on market irregularities, targeting risky business such as shadow banking.

Last month the central bank tightened regulations on asset management businesses of financial institutions.

The new rules unify regulatory standards for asset management products and address issues such as implicit guarantees by banks on many WMPs.

While the new rules give financial institutions until the end of 2020 to fully reform their practices, risks in existing business may be gradually exposed, and more fines could be imposed, analysts said.

  

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