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CITIC Caught Up in Financial Fraud Case
Summary:Former employees at a branch of China CITIC Bank in Zhengzhou reportedly sold an unauthorized wealth management product in 2011 and investors are still waiting to get their money back. The bank denies any responsibility for the actions of its former employees.

Photo: Protestors hold up a banner calling for the return of their money
Source: China Internet Information Center

Apr 17, 2013
Translated by Liu Jingyue

Frustrated customers recently protested in front of a branch of China CITIC Bank in Zhengzhou. The protestors were calling for the return of a total of 40 million yuan that they had invested in a wealth management product (WMP) that they say was sold by an employee of the bank in 2011.

Details of the case were reported by China Internet Information Center (中国网) yesterday.

According to the report, employees at a branch of China CITIC Bank in Zhengzhou, the largest city in the central province of Henan, sold unauthorized financial products without the permission of the bank to 110 customers.

Guo Wenya (郭文雅), the former vice director at the branch sold the WMP to several customers in 2011, promising returns that were 10 times what customers would earn if they parked their money in ordinary deposit accounts.

Guo is reported to have used the money to make high-interest rate loans that were not paid back.

One of the victims, a man surnamed Liu who invested 1.1 million yuan, told reporters that the contract he signed appeared to have nothing to do with CITIC Bank, but a private clothing company. However several staff at the bank ensured him that the 3-month product was absolutely safe.

For the first few months, the WMP paid out interest on time and Liu decided to double down on his investment and put a total of 2.3 million yuan into the scheme.

However, in November 2011, Liu did not receive a scheduled payment and went to the bank to find out what had happened. The bank told Mr. Liu that Ms. Guo had resigned and that CITIC Bank had nothing to do with the financial product that he had bought.  

In 2012, Zhengzhou Police Station began an investigation into the case and detained both Guo Wenya and another former bank employee, but the 40 million yuan is yet to be recovered.

Citic Bank officials have denied that the bank is responsible for the fraud.

Global Times reported today that a similar case occured in Shanghai last Decemeber when a WMP issued at a branch of Hua Xia Bank left investors short changed.

Links and Sources
China Internet Information Center: 中信银行再曝理财诈骗 上百人4000万血本无归
Global Times: CITIC withholds repayment on WMP

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