Bank of China queues in Sydney explained as five institutions accused of fraud, see funds frozen

The real reason behind hundreds of customers queueing outside a Bank of China in Sydney’s CBD as five institutions have their entire fortunes FROZEN amid fraud allegations

  • Massive queues have been seen this week outside the Bank of China in Sydney
  • Hundreds of people have waited to make transactions at Haymarket branch
  • Many believe it is a response to five Chinese banks being frozen after fraud
  • Conglomerate from Henan region manipulated banks into stealing money 
  • Customers likely worried about losing their funds amid run on banks in China

A lively corner on one of Sydney‘s busiest streets has again been packed with customers waiting to get inside a Chinese state-owned bank.

Hundreds of people have queued outside the Bank of China on George Street this week in what many believe to be a response to fears the Communist nation’s economy is spiralling, which has included Xi Jinping putting a freeze on a series of banks.

An accused criminal conglomerate from the country’s central province ‘manipulated’ five banks in the Henan and Anhui regions to ‘illegally absorb and occupy public funds’, which saw the state freeze $8.5billion in customer’s money. 

Officially the Bank of China says the crowds outside its Sydney office were simply ‘students’ looking to make accounts after arriving in Australia – but many believe it is the trickle-down effect of the nation’s financial crisis.

Daily Mail Australia attended the branch as it opened on Thursday morning, spotting a crowd already gathered outside.

One customer said they were transferring money sent from family back in China, while others alluded to a bigger issue.

‘I just want my money,’ another man said, who confirmed he wasn’t a ‘student’.

Dozens of people have flocked to the Bank of China in Sydney after the Communist government froze transactions at five banks over illegal practices

Dozens of people have flocked to the Bank of China in Sydney after the Communist government froze transactions at five banks over illegal practices

The branch, on the CBD's busy George Street, has seen hundreds of people queue outside this week after confidence in the Chinese banking system collapsed

The branch, on the CBD’s busy George Street, has seen hundreds of people queue outside this week after confidence in the Chinese banking system collapsed

Chinese authorities confirmed Henan New Fortune had illegally manipulated its banks into holding its customer’s money in an attempt to defraud investors. 

‘Henan New Fortune Group manipulated five village banks in Henan and Anhui to illegally absorb and occupy public funds… and covered up illegal activities,’ a representative from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told state media on Sunday.

A three-month investigation uncovered the abuse, with the Chinese government promising to pay back their money shortly. 

Accounts with less than 50,000 yuan ($7,500) were supposed to see money coming in from last Friday.

However, very few customers of the banks have reported receiving the funds, with hundreds still waiting for their money to be returned.

The result of the abuse has seen China’s banking system take a huge hit – seemingly influencing residents living abroad. 

A spokesperson for the bank said there was nothing to worry about, insisting it was international students who had been lining up outside the branch.

‘As we are the most popular bank for Chinese students in Australia, we are experiencing a large demand for our branch services, particularly deposit accounts for payments from overseas,’ the bank said.

‘To maintain Covid-safe practices for our staff and customers we are advising customers to maintain social distancing and this resulted in queues outside the branch on Tuesday. 

‘For Bank of China Australia it is very much business as usual.’ 

Meanwhile, real estate giant Evergrande has more than $300billion in liabilities and missed a crucial deadline for offshore repayments in December last year. 

The company’s CEO and CFO resigned last week after an internal investigation found they had misused $2billion in loans.

Its share price has plummeted 75 per cent over the last 12 months – and triggered a financial crisis in the superpower – which is trickling down to its billion citizens. 

Dozens of Sydney residents were seen waiting outside the Bank of China's Haymarket branch in the city's CBD on Tuesday morning

Dozens of Sydney residents were seen waiting outside the Bank of China’s Haymarket branch in the city’s CBD on Tuesday morning

It’s believed these factors contributed to the bizarre queues outside the Bank of China‘s Haymarket branch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Photos have been shared on social media with varying theories as to why customers are flocking to the state-owned bank.

‘If this is the local branch of the Bank of China, people could be afraid it’s going to go under and are withdrawing their savings,’ one wrote.

‘People are concerned that their bank is not liquid. So everyone is worried their cash is gone and want to withdraw everything they can,’ another commented.

Customers wait outside the Bank of China on Thursday morning - as the Communist nation faces a series of economic crises

Customers wait outside the Bank of China on Thursday morning – as the Communist nation faces a series of economic crises

Many believe people are flocking to the bank to withdraw their China-based savings and move it into Australian banks as a result of five banks being frozen

Many believe people are flocking to the bank to withdraw their China-based savings and move it into Australian banks as a result of five banks being frozen

The banking crisis in Henan was described by authorities as a complex scam involving a private financial group that had stakes in the lenders and which had faked data by colluding with bank staff and siphoning off funds illegally.

Deposits at a bank in the eastern Anhui province were also frozen.

To revive depositors’ confidence in the sector, authorities in Henan and Anhui made repayments to smaller depositors starting July 15 following investigations and arrests.

It’s understood many are still trying to get their life savings back. 

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