Micro-loan Companies, Consumer Finance Platforms, Wealth Management Subsidiaries Included by PBOC under Money Laundering Regulation

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The Chinese central bank has announced that a range of non-bank finance platforms will be included within the scope of future anti-money laundering regulation.

PBOC recently released the “Financial Institution Anti-money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Supervisory Regulatory Measures” (金融机构反洗钱和反恐怖融资监督管理办法), which are scheduled to come into effect on 1 August 2021.

The applicable scope of the Measures has been expanded to include a range of non-bank financial institutions, including non-bank payments platforms, online micro-loan companies, as well as consumer finance firms and bank wealth management subsidiaries.

Analysts say that the move marks a departure from China’s previous anti-money-laundering regime, which focused more on traditional financial institutions in the form of banks.

“Prior to this anti-money laundering placed restraints on commonly seen financial institutions,” said Bi Yanguang (毕研广), senior researcher with Qicai Zhiku (柒财智库) to National Business Daily.

“Micro-loan companies, consumer finance companies, bank wealth management subsidiaries and non-bank payments institutions are categorised however as emerging financial institutions.”

Bi said that while micro-loan and consumer finance companies as well as bank wealth management subsidiaries are not “financial institutions in the real sense,” the inclusion by Chinese authorities of all forms of financial activity under the purview of regulation will “be of benefit to maintaining the order of financial markets, and expediting the healthy and stable operation of financial activity.”

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