China's National Audit Office has alleged criminal conduct at the Agricultural Bank of China involving US$1.1 billion. The irregularities, which relate to its 2004 financial statements, were discovered in an examination of the troubled bank's books. The chief auditor said the criminal conduct involved 51 different cases and 157 individuals. Irregularities in deposits worth US$1.79 billion and illegalities in the bank's lending business, including loans for cars and poverty reduction, worth US$3.45 billion, were also uncovered. ABC has traditionally been the weakest of China's big state banks and has a non-performing loan ratio of almost 25%, much higher than the 8% average across the sector at the end of March.