Agricultural Bank of China Suspends Consumer Finance, P2P Payment Channels


The Agricultural Bank of China has announced the suspension of payment channels for certain forms of online lending that are currently coming under greater scrutiny from financial regulators.

On 19 March ABC issued a notice announcing that it would strictly prohibit the use of its agency collection services for online wealth management products (including but not limited to P2P lending) and consumer finance operations.

ABC also announced that it would be suspending agency collection, real-time collection and real-name payment transaction channels for the investment and financing sectors as of 17:30 19 March.

Sources speaking to 21st Century Business Herald said that the payments suspension has already hit Chinese consumer finance and P2P lending firms.

One P2P online lender said that ABC had already shut its payment channels, and is not the first Chinese bank to have barred it from services.

According to the source China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank and Huaxia Bank had already suspended payment channels for P2P and other forms of online lending.

Figures from a consumer finance company said that they had received an emergency notice from ABC which informed them of suspension of payment operations on 17 March, with a payment resumption date yet to be specified.

If the repayment account is for an ABC card, then then any due repayment remittances or active repayment applications will be invalid.

China’s domestic media says that ABC has not yet provided a specific reason for the suspension of payment channels for either online or consumer financing.