Chinese banking and insurance regulator makes fresh pledge to deal with rural bank, default mortgage risks
Published: Jul 18, 2022 01:17 AM
A counter for deposit and insurance at a bank in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province File Photo: VCG
A counter for deposit and insurance at a bank in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province File Photo: VCG

China's banking and insurance regulator vowed on Sunday to handle the risks associated with five rural banks in Henan and Anhui provinces in accordance with laws and regulations, as well as to ensure financial services for the delivery of home projects.

In a late-night article posted on its WeChat official account, the China Banking and Insurance News disclosed that the investigations by the public security authorities over nearly three months have revealed that the Henan New Wealth Group manipulated the five rural banks in Henan and Anhui and took advantage of third-party platforms and fund brokers, among other illegal means of collecting and possessing public funds.

Citing an interview on Sunday with an unidentified official with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), the report said that the local business group in Henan falsified original business data and concealed unlawful behaviors.

Based on current evidence, the vast majority of off-balance-sheet clients have no prior knowledge of the suspected criminal actions of the Henan company and have not reaped any additional proceeds or subsidies, the report said.

As the original back office data has been concealed, deleted or modified by the criminal gang, the two provinces built a client information and registration system, which would cross-check the back office data.

Average clients would initially get back the advance payments, while refunds for those with deposits of more than 50,000 yuan ($7,399) will be processed later.

The CBIRC official refuted online rumors that the refund of the advance payment announcement on July 11 was due to a gathering incident in Henan's Zhengzhou on July 10.

The regulator has made public pledges on multiple occasions since April 30 to deal with the incidents, strictly in accordance with laws and regulations, and any businesses in compliance with laws and rules will be legally protected, the official said.

The regulator also reflected upon defaulted mortgages during the Sunday interview.

Owners of a presale property project in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, issued a statement about suspended mortgage payments due to the delayed delivery on June 30, drawing media attention.

The CBIRC keeps a keen eye on this issue and strengthens coordination with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the People's Bank of China and other government departments to support local efforts to guarantee home deliveries and ensure people's livelihoods and stability, the CBIRC official remarked, largely repeating Thursday's remarks .

Under the leadership of local Party committees and governments, the banking and insurance regulatory authorities ought to take part in relevant work mechanism, according to Sunday's report.

Banks are asked to fulfill their obligations in a market-oriented and law-abiding manner as well as to assume their social responsibilities to push for home deliveries.

In addition, banks are required to work out action plans to fix the funding gaps and to do their part in extending eligible credit, the CBIRC official said, urging banks to strengthen communication with clients and meet their varied demands in an individual manner to honor contracts while safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers.

On top of that, banks are asked to effectively satisfy developers' reasonable financing needs and vigorously support rental housing and project mergers and reorganizations, the official remarked, voicing optimism that these challenges can all be reasonably handled.