China’s central bank fines MYBank US$3.5 million for AML/CFT and other violations

China’s MYBank has been handed a 22.4 million yuan (US$3.5 million) penalty by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) for anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and several other violations.

The fine reflects the Chinese authorities’ increased focus on AML/CFT compliance since the country’s financial regulators responded to recommendations made in the fourth round 2018-19 mutual evaluation of China conducted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Multiple failures

MYBank, which is backed by China’s biggest payments provider, Ant Group, failed to follow know your customer (KYC) obligations, preserve identity information and keep transaction records.

PBOC also found that the online lender breached rules on credit scoring management and failed to report suspicious transactions.

MYBank’s former deputy chief executive, Feng Liang,  was amongst nine executives and managers also fined for violations at the bank.

Tightening up

China has been working to improve and tighten its AML/CFT regime. Last year PBOC promulgated measures for the supervision and administration of AML/CFT of financial institutions, which came into effect on 01 August 2021.

The new measures provide specific details of internal control and risk management requirements and increase PBOC’s supervision and administration powers. They also widen the scope of applicable institutions by adding developmental financial institutions, consumer finance companies, loan companies, non-banking payment institutions and several other types of financial service companies.

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