The People's Bank of China found 662 banks, including 10 foreign-owned lenders, to have violated money-laundering rules and fined them a total of US$5.43 million, state media reported. The action was taken as a result of inspections that were conducted on 3,378 institutions in 2006. The number of institutions found guilty represents a 10% year-on-year increase. The central bank said it plans to take additional steps to fight money laundering, including the streamlining of reporting procedures, an appraisal of the effectiveness of local agencies, and creating a new risk index. The government plans to expand the current anti-money-laundering drive, which is currently focused entirely on financial institutions, to other sectors in the near future.
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