|BoC denies money laundering allegation
Bank of China has denied a report by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), accusing it of breaking foreign exchange rules by helping wealthy customers to move 'dirty money' overseas.
The state-controlled bank said references in the reports by the broadcaster and other media of an 'underground bank' and 'money laundering' were inconsistent with the facts.
CCTV cited several unidentified Bank of China employees as saying BoC had set up a secret scheme to help customers transfer billions of US dollars overseas.
It alleged that BoC and immigration agencies colluded to disguise the origin of the funds after its reporters visited the bank's Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou branches.
It said the bank had allowed unlimited exchange of foreign currencies under a special money-transferring scheme.
CCTV said the bank's employees would not talk about the scheme - called Youhuitong - unless they were asked by customers, and that the bank had not advertised the service.
The station said the scheme was a shadowy business that clearly violated the country's foreign exchange rules which cap the amount of yuan that individuals can convert into other currencies at US$50,000 a year. The station said most of the money under the scheme was transferred to North America, Australia and some European countries.
The total amount of money claimed to have been transferred remains unclear. But CCTV said a single BoC branch in Guangdong had sent six billion yuan overseas so far this year.
The report severely criticized BoC, saying it was "unbelievable that such a big bank is violating the law to fill its own pockets". --RTHK