10 overseas banks punished

By Shangguan Zhoudong (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2007-06-28 14:09

A total of 10 overseas banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, have been punished by China's foreign exchange regulator for violating rules, the Financial Times reported.

These overseas banks breached strict capital controls by helping to funnel huge amounts of foreign exchange into the country's soaring stock and property markets, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China's forex regulator.

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The 10 overseas banks were also involved in assisting speculative foreign capital to enter the country disguised as trade or investment, the regulator says.

The money they helped to channel was having a "serious effect on healthy economic development and government efforts to control growth," Deng Xianhong, SAFE's deputy director, said in a statement.

Standard Chartered acknowledged it had been audited by the SAFE and said it was "making efforts to improve our systems," the FT report says.

Citibank said it had received no notification on this matter, while HSBC confirmed it was inspected by SAFE in March and April this year and that it was in "constructive discussions with SAFE."

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