China to repay customers hit by bank scam that sparked protests | Crime
The regulator said customers at five rural banks whose funds have been frozen since April will receive their money back from Friday.
Chinese authorities have promised to repay bank customers hit by a financial scandal that has sparked rare public protests in central China.
The national banking regulator said in a statement on Monday that customers at five rural banks in Henan and Anhui provinces whose funds have been frozen since April will be refunded.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said customers with deposits of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,442) will be refunded starting Friday.
The regulator said grants related to “illegal or criminal” activity would not be refunded initially.
Notice to come later Police on Sunday said they had arrested several suspects who allegedly took control of several banks through a conglomerate company and made illegal transfers through fictitious loans.
The banking scandal, believed to be one of China’s largest-ever financial scams, has sparked a series of protests in recent months that authorities have had to deal with. use force.
On Sunday, an estimated 1,000 depositors gathered outside the People’s Bank of China in the city of Zhengzhou to demand their money back, following similar protests in May and June.
Videos circulating online showed protesters being beaten and dragged by unidentified white-clad men.
Some protesters have accused local police and officials of colluding with banks, including using the country’s COVID health card to restrict them from going to public places.
In June, authorities in Zhengzhou punished five officials for changing the health codes of more than 1,300 customers to prevent them from using public transportation and entering public spaces.
Public protests are relatively rare in China, where dissent is tightly controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
However, belligerent citizens can sometimes organize large protests, risking arrest and prosecution in the country’s opaque justice system, something activists say lacks. independent from Beijing.