China beefs up combat against financial fraud in capital markets

(Xinhua) 13:31, July 06, 2024

BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- In a concerted effort to fortify the integrity of China's capital markets, Chinese authorities have rolled out a robust framework to curb financial fraud and enhance market discipline.

The document was released on Friday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance, the People's Bank of China, the National Administration of Financial Regulation, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

The document underscores a relentless crackdown on fraudulent activities within the capital markets, including the illicit issuance of stocks and bonds. It calls for a rigorous enhancement of the review and registration mechanisms governing the issuance and listing of securities.

A zero-tolerance stance is adopted against various financial irregularities, such as disseminating false information, misappropriating funds, and evading debt obligations.

Financial fraud has a significant impact on market confidence and brings substantial damage to investor interests. In recent years, Chinese regulatory authorities have been continuously intensifying their crackdown on financial fraud in the capital market.

Data indicates that from 2021 to 2023, the CSRC, China's top securities watchdog, handled a total of 397 cases of illegal information disclosure, including 203 cases of fraud.

Since 2021, more than 150 cases involving listed companies or bond issuers suspected of financial fraud or fund misappropriation have been transferred to public security organs.

The document highlights the need for vigilance against the evolving tactics of systemic and organized financial fraud, advocating for stringent legal action against those involved in forging or altering vouchers, fabricating transactions or colluding with third parties.

The statement also emphasizes the importance of regulatory oversight, particularly in the misuse of accounting policies and the targeted crackdown on financial fraud in specific sectors.

It advocates for a proactive approach to risk assessment, aiming to identify and mitigate the risks associated with industry-specific, systemic, and regional financial fraud.

For some time, the relatively low cost of financial fraud has been a thorn in the side of capital market participants. There is widespread demand for the continuous increase of penalties for such violations to ensure punitive measures have a real bite and serve as deterrents commensurate with the gravity of the offenses committed.

The document introduces a comprehensive accountability framework, recognizing the disruptive impact of financial fraud on market order and investor confidence. It insists on holding both the primary perpetrators and their accomplices accountable, advocating for increased penalties and market bans for those found guilty of financial fraud.

Furthermore, the guideline calls for the strict enforcement of mandatory delisting for companies involved in fraudulent issuance and serious financial fraud. It also seeks to intensify the pursuit of criminal accountability for controlling shareholders and actual controllers who may be involved in financial fraud and encroaching upon listed companies' property.

The document directs investigative efforts toward uncovering misconduct by corporate insiders, including the misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, and breaches of trust that harm the interests of listed companies.

A CSRC spokesperson stressed that overall, listed companies have always been outstanding representatives of Chinese enterprises, and those that engage in fraud are a minority.

The spokesperson said that the introduction of these measures will effectively promote all parties to severely punish financial fraud further, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors. 

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Liang Jun)


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