BEIJING — China will take strict precautions and hard actions against illegal fund-raising, the central government said, after an online peer-to-peer platform was found swindling investors out of billions of dollars.
It is an important guarantee for economic stability and social harmony to prevent such cases and properly deal with the aftermath, said the document released by the State Council on Feb 4.
Related agencies and local governments should pay great attention and strengthen their efforts to crack down on illegal fund-raising in a bid to protect people’s interests and fend off systemic risks, according to the document.
A long-term prevention mechanism should be established, the document said.
The document was released to the public after police found online P2P broker Ezubao cheated about 900,000 investors out of more than 50 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) by fake investment projects. An executive from the parent company has admitted it was nothing but a Ponzi scheme.
Ezubao is not an isolated case in China. Given rising financing difficulties amid a slowing economy, P2P lending platforms mushroomed across the country and have attracted numerous individual investors with high returns.
By the end of November, there were more than 2,600 such brokers nationwide, which have raised a total of 400 billion yuan, around 30 percent of which were found with violations and problems in their operation, official data showed.
Facing spreading risk, China set up a ministerial joint conference mechanism to gather strength and rein in the rampant sector.
Yang Yuzhu, office head of the conference, said supervisors will make joint efforts to take strong measures against illegal fund-raising and make sure no supervision vacuum occurs.
China will improve financial services, guide informal finance and eliminate the root of illegal fund-raising, the document said.