Chinese Central Bank Targets Banking Access for Migrant Workers Following Fraud Crack Down

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has expressed concern over the impact of a recent anti-fraud campaign upon the ability of the country’s migrant workers to properly access banking and other financial services.

PBOC recently issued the “Guidance Opinions on Properly Performing Itinerant Employee Demographic and Other Personal Bank Account Services Work” (关于做好流动就业群体等个人银行账户服务工作的指导意见).

A PBOC official said that the launch of the Opinions arrives following an investigation which found that migrant workers throughout China were experiencing difficult in accessing banking services in the wake of an anti-fraud campaign.

“Recently, some regional migrant workers have indicated that they have experienced problems with the various documents required for opening accounts with commercial banks,” said a PBOC official.

“PBOC is highly concerned about this, and arranged for in-depth investigations which discovered that the problem was mainly due to the strengthening of account risk controls by banks in general, in order to strike against Internet fraud and cross-border gambling.”

In October 2020 the Ministry of Public Security teamed up with PBOC and other central government departments to launch an investigation into the illegal sale of bank cards and phone cards, which resulted in the seizure of her 610,000 bank cards and nabbed a total of 450,000 suspects.

In order to deal with the difficulties that some migrant workers in China have since experienced with opening bank accounts, PBOC has outlined a total of 16 “service improvement opinions” for banks, including optimisation of bank account opening procedures, and the establishment of long-term services mechanisms for personal bank accounts.

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