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Implementing Measures of the People’s Bank of China for Protection of Financial Consumers’ Rights and Interests

By Todd KuhnsPublished on Jan 1, 2020
Implementing Measures of the People’s Bank of China for Protection of Financial Consumers’ Rights and Interests

Effective Date: 01-01-2020

Source: People’s Bank of China

Chinese Title: 中国人民银行金融消费者权益保护实施办法

Decree [2020] No. 5 of the People’s Bank of China

The Implementing Measures of the People’s Bank of China for Protection of Financial Consumers’ Rights and Interests, adopted upon deliberation at the 6th executive meeting of the People’s Bank of China (“PBC”) in 2020 on September 1, 2020, are hereby promulgated, effective November 1, 2020.

Yi Gang, Governor

September 15, 2020

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 These Measures are enacted in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the People’s Bank of China, the Commercial Banking Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers and the Guiding Opinions of General Office of the State Council on Strengthening the Protection of Rights and Interests of Financial Consumers (Guo Ban Fa [2015] No.81) in order to protect the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers, regulate the activities of financial institutions in providing financial products and services, maintain a fair and impartial market environment, and promote the sound and stable operation of the financial market.

Article 2 These Measures apply to the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests carried out by banking financial institutions duly established within the territory of the People’s Republic of China to provide financial consumers with financial products or services (hereinafter referred to as the “banks”) in connection with the following businesses:

(1) those related to interest rate administration.

(2) those related to the administration of Renminbi.

(3) those related to foreign exchange administration.

(4) those related to administration of the gold market.

(5) those related to the administration of state treasury.

(6) those related to administration of payment and settlement.

(7) those related to anti-money laundering administration.

(8) those related to credit reporting administration.

(9) financial marketing publicity and consumers’ financial information protection related to the businesses mentioned in Items (1) to (8) above.

(10) other work of protecting financial consumers’ rights and interests within the scope of the PBC’s duties as prescribed by other laws and administrative regulations.These Measures apply to the payment services provided by non-bank payment institutions legally established within the territory of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “payment institutions”).

For the purpose of these Measures, “financial consumers” refer to natural persons who purchase and use financial products or services provided by banks and payment institutions.

Article 3 Banks and payment institutions providing financial products or services for financial consumers shall follow the principles of voluntariness, equality, fairness and good faith, effectively undertake the primary responsibility for the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers, and fulfill the statutory obligation to protect the rights and interests of financial consumers.

Article 4 Financial consumers shall consume in a civilized and rational manner, enhance their awareness of self-protection, and act in good faith to protect their own legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law.

Article 5 The PBC and its branches shall adhere to the principles of fairness and impartiality, carry out the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests within the scope of their duties in accordance with the law, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers under the law. The PBC and its branches shall, in concert with the relevant authorities, promote the establishment and improvement of a joint governance system for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests which combines the autonomy of financial institutions, industry self-discipline, financial regulation and social supervision.

Article 6 Financial consumers, banks and payment institutions are encouraged to make full use of mediation, arbitration or otherwise to resolve disputes over financial consumption.

Chapter II Code of Conduct for Financial Institutions

Article 7 Banks and payment institutions shall include the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests in their strategies on corporate governance, corporate culture development and business development, and formulate their overall plans and specific measures for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests. Moreover, they shall establish a special department or designate a leading department for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, specify the duties of the department and personnel, ensure that the department has sufficient human and material resources to carry out the work independently, and regularly report the work progress to the senior management and the board of directors (council).

Article 8 Banks and payment institutions shall implement the relevant requirements of laws and regulations and the relevant regulatory provisions on the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, and establish and improve various internal control systems for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests:

(1) an evaluation system for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

(2) a risk rating system for financial consumers.

(3) a system for protection of consumers’ financial information.

(4) a system for disclosure and inquiry of information on financial products and services.

(5) a management system for financial marketing publicity.

(6) a financial literacy promotion and financial consumer education system.

(7) a system for handling complaints from financial consumers.

(8) a system for internal supervision and accountability for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

(9) an emergency response system for major events for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

(10) other systems for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests that shall be established as explicitly stipulated by the PBC.

Article 9 Banks and payment institutions shall establish a sound whole-process control mechanism involving the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests to ensure that the relevant provisions and requirements with respect to the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests are effectively implemented in design and development, marketing and promotion, after-sales management and other aspects of financial products or services. The whole-process control mechanism shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1) ex-ante review mechanism. Banks and payment institutions shall carry out ex-ante review of the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, timely discover and correct the problems in their financial products or services that may damage financial consumers’ rights and interests, and effectively supervise the implementation of review opinions on the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

(2) in-process management and control mechanism. Banks and payment institutions shall perform the basic procedures and standards required to be observed in marketing and publicity of financial products or services and strengthen the monitoring and control of marketing and publicity behaviors.

(3) ex-post supervision mechanism. Banks and payment institutions shall properly deal with the after-sales management of financial products and services, and timely adjust the rules for financial products and services with problems or hidden dangers.

Article 10 Banks and payment institutions shall carry out training for the personnel engaged in the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests and enhance their awareness and ability for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests. Banks and payment institutions shall carry out special training on the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests at least once a year, and the training objects shall fully cover middle and senior officers, grassroots business personnel and new employees. For the positions with frequent complaints from financial consumers and high risks, the frequency of training shall be increased appropriately.

Article 11 When conducting assessment and evaluation, banks and payment institutions shall regard the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests as an important part of the work, reasonably allocate the proportion and weight of relevant indicators, and comprehensively consider business compliance, customer satisfaction, and the timeliness and conformity rate of complaint handling, and shall not simply take the number of complaints as the assessment indicator.

Article 12 Banks and payment institutions shall, in light of the characteristics of financial products or services, assess their suitability for financial consumers, and reasonably divide the risk levels of financial products and services and risk tolerance levels of financial consumers, so as to provide appropriate financial products or services to appropriate financial consumers.

Article 13 Banks and payment institutions shall protect the property safety of financial consumers at the time of purchase and use of financial products and services in accordance with the law and shall not misappropriate or illegally occupy funds and other financial assets of financial consumers.

Article 14 Banks and payment institutions shall respect social morality, and the human dignity and local customs and habits of financial consumers, and shall not discriminate against financial consumers on grounds of sex, age, race, or ethnicity or nationality, or use expressions that are discriminatory or against public order and good morals.

Article 15 Banks and payment institutions shall respect the true intentions of financial consumers with respect to the purchase of financial products or services, and shall not handle business on behalf of financial consumers, modify the business instructions of financial consumers without authorization, or force tie-in sales of other products or services.

Article 16 Banks and payment institutions shall, in light of the characteristics of financial products or services, disclose the following important contents to financial consumers in a timely, truthful, accurate and comprehensive manner:

(1) the financial consumers’ rights and obligations related to such financial products or services, and methods for and restrictions on the conclusion, modification, suspension and termination of a contract.

(2) the rights, obligations and legal liability of banks and payment institutions in respect of such financial products or services.

(3) the annual interest rate of loan products.

(4) the expenses and liquidated damages that shall be borne by financial consumers, including the method for determining the amount, transaction time and method.

(5) the channels for complaining and handling disputes arising from financial products or services.

(6) the numbers and names of the mandatory standards, recommended standards, group standards or corporate standards implemented by banks or payment institutions for such financial products or services.

(7) the complete Chinese name of the business entity that actually assumes contractual obligations set forth in the specification or service agreement of the financial products.

(8) other information that may affect the decision-making of financial consumers.

Article 17 Banks and payment institutions shall disclose the information on their financial products and services in ways that are easily received and understood by financial consumers. For important information such as interest rates, expenses, returns and risks that are related to the vital interests of financial consumers, banks and payment institutions shall, in light of the complexity and risk levels of relevant financial products or services, explain the key terminologies involved, and provide appropriate ways for financial consumers to confirm their receipt of complete information.

Article 18 When explaining important contents and disclosing risks to financial consumers, banks and payment institutions shall, in accordance with laws, regulations and regulatory provisions, keep the relevant materials for at least three years from the date of termination of the business relationship. Where the laws and administrative regulations stipulate otherwise, such provisions shall prevail.The materials to be retained include but are not limited to:

(1) the specification or service agreement of the financial product confirmed by financial consumers.

(2) the risk reminder confirmed by financial consumers.

(3) the electronic data such as audio and video recordings or system logs that record the important contents explained to financial consumers.

Article 19 Banks and payment institutions shall not take advantage of technical means or dominant positions to force or force in a disguised form financial consumers to accept financial products or services, or exclude or restrict financial consumers from accepting financial products or services provided by peer institutions.

Article 20 When providing financial products or services, banks and payment institutions shall not, by adding restrictive conditions, require financial consumers to purchase or use the products or services that are not expressly specified in the relevant agreement.

Article 21 Where banks and payment institutions use standard terms in providing financial products or services for financial consumers, they shall use font, size, color, symbol, logo and other prominent methods that can attract the attention of financial consumers to the quantity, interest rate, fees, period and method of performance, precautions, risk alerts, dispute resolution and other content that has a significant interest relationship with financial consumers, and give explanations as required by financial consumers. The standard terms in electronic form shall be identifiable and easily available. Banks and payment institutions may not set forth provisions containing the following contents by means of notices, statements, announcements or other standard terms:

(1) mitigating or exempting the compensation liability of banks and payment institutions for property losses caused to financial consumers.

(2) stipulating that financial consumers shall bear liquidated damages or damages exceeding the statutory limit.

(3) excluding or restricting the right of financial consumers to inquire about, delete or modify their financial information in accordance with the law.

(4) excluding or restricting the right of financial consumers to choose the financial products or services provided by peer institutions.

(5) other provisions that are unfair and unreasonable to financial consumers.

Banks and payment institutions shall timely revise or sort out the standard terms and service agreements with problems or hidden dangers infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers.

Article 22 Banks and payment institutions shall be responsible for the authenticity of the contents of marketing and publicity. The obligations actually assumed by banks and payment institutions shall not be less than those they have promised to assume for financial consumers in the form of advertisements, materials or explanations in their marketing and publicity activities. The term “advertisements, materials or explanations” as mentioned in the preceding paragraph refers to the direct or indirect publicity or promotion of financial products or services of banks or payment institutions by using various communication media, publicity instruments or means for marketing purposes.

Article 23 When carrying out marketing and promotional activities, no bank or payment institution may commit any of the following acts:

(1) conducting any false, fraudulent or misleading publicity or publicity with omissions.

(2) citing untrue or inaccurate data and materials or concealing the restrictive conditions, etc., and making exaggerated statements on past performance or return on products;

(3) making use of review or record-filing procedures for financial products or services of financial regulatory authorities to mislead financial consumers into thinking that financial regulatory authorities have provided a guarantee for such financial products or services.

(4) making express or implied promise on principal protection, no risk or protection of returns, and making guaranteed commitment on the future effects, proceeds or relevant conditions of non-principal-guaranteed investment-oriented financial products.

(5) other acts in violation of the relevant laws and regulations and regulatory provisions on the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

Article 24 Banks and payment institutions shall effectively assume the primary responsibility for popularizing financial knowledge and educating financial consumers to improve financial consumers’ cognition of financial products and services and enhance financial consumers’ financial literacy and awareness of honesty and trustworthiness. Banks and payment institutions shall formulate an annual plan for the popularization of financial knowledge and education of financial consumers, carry out daily activities for popularizing financial knowledge and educating financial consumers in light of their own characteristics, and actively participate in the popularization of financial knowledge organized by the PBC and its branches. Banks and payment institutions shall not replace the popularization of financial knowledge and education of financial consumers with the marketing of financial products or services.

Article 25 Banks and payment institutions shall attach importance to the diversity and differences of financial consumers’ demands and actively support key target groups of inclusive finance in obtaining necessary and timely basic financial products and services.

Article 26 In the case of any major event of infringement upon the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers, banks and payment institutions shall timely report it to the PBC or its branches according to the relevant provisions on the reporting of major events.

Article 27 Banks and payment institutions shall cooperate with the PBC and its branches in carrying out the relevant work in the field of the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests and submit the relevant materials as required.

Chapter III Protection of Consumers’ Financial Information

Article 28 For the purpose of these Measures, “consumers’ financial information” refers to the information of consumers handled by banks and payment institutions through conducting business or other legitimate channels, including personal identity information, property information, account information, credit information, financial transaction information, and other information related to the purchase and use of financial products or services by specific consumers. The handling of financial information of consumers includes the collection, storage, use, processing, transmission, provision and disclosure of financial information of consumers.

Article 29 Banks and payment institutions shall follow the principle of lawfulness, rightfulness and necessity and obtain the express consent of financial consumers or their guardians when handling financial information of consumers, unless otherwise stipulated by laws and administrative regulations. Banks and payment institutions shall not collect consumers’ financial information that is not related to their businesses, shall not collect consumers’ financial information in improper ways, and shall not compulsorily collect consumers’ financial information in disguised forms. Banks and payment institutions shall not refuse to provide financial products or services on the grounds that financial consumers do not agree on handling of their financial information, except that the disposal of their financial information is necessary for the provision of financial products or services. Where financial consumers are unable or refuse to provide the necessary information, making it impossible for banks and payment institutions to perform their anti-money laundering obligations, banks and payment institutions may, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Anti-money Laundering Law of the People’s Republic of China, take restrictive measures against their financial activities; and banks and payment institutions may refuse to provide financial products or services in accordance with the law if necessary.

Article 30 When collecting financial information of consumers for the purpose of marketing, user experience improvement or market research, banks and payment institutions shall allow financial consumers to choose, at their sole discretion, whether to agree that the banks and payment institutions use such financial information for the aforesaid purpose in an appropriate way; if the financial consumers do not agree, the banks and payment institutions shall not refuse to provide the financial products or services on such ground. Banks and payment institutions sending financial marketing information to financial consumers shall provide the means for them to refuse to continue receiving such financial marketing information.

Article 31 Banks and payment institutions shall perform the express obligations set forth in Article 29 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers, disclose to the public the rules for the collection and use of financial information of consumers, expressly state the purposes, methods and scope of collecting and using financial information of consumers, and keep the relevant supporting documents. Where banks and payment institutions obtain the consent of financial consumers to collect and use financial information under the standard terms, they shall specify in the standard terms the purpose, method, content and scope of use of the financial information collected from consumers, and remind the financial consumers in the agreement of the possible consequences of such consent in an obvious and straightforward manner.

Article 32 Banks and payment institutions shall use consumers’ financial information according to the provisions of laws and regulations and for the purposes agreed by both parties and shall not use such information beyond the scope.

Article 33 Banks and payment institutions shall establish a management system for the use of consumers’ financial information with hierarchical authorization as the core. They shall, in light of the importance and sensitivity of consumers’ financial information and needs of business development and under the premise of not affecting their performance of anti-money laundering and other statutory obligations, reasonably determine the scope and authority of their staff to access information and strictly implement approval procedures for authorization of information use.

Article 34 Banks and payment institutions shall, in accordance with the provisions of the State on archives management and electronic data management, take technical measures and other necessary measures to properly keep and store the consumers’ financial information they have collected, and prevent such information from being lost, damaged, divulged or altered. Banks, payment institutions and their staff shall keep strict confidentiality of financial information of consumers and shall not divulge or provide such information to others by illegal means. Upon confirmation that the information is divulged, damaged or lost, the banks and payment institutions shall immediately take remedial measures; if the information is divulged, damaged or lost, which may endanger the personal or property safety of financial consumers, the banks and payment institutions shall immediately report the same to the branches of the PBC at the places where the banks and payment institutions are located and inform financial consumers of the same; if the information is divulged, damaged or lost, which may otherwise adversely affect financial consumers, the banks and payment institutions shall timely inform financial consumers of the same, and report the same to the branches of the PBC at the places where the banks and payment institutions are located within 72 hours. The PBC branches shall, after receipt of the report, deal with the matter in accordance with Article 55 of these Measures in light of the circumstances.

Chapter IV Settlement of Financial Consumer Disputes

Article 35 In the event of any dispute over financial consumption between financial consumers and banks or payment institutions, the financial consumers are encouraged to file a complaint with the banks or payment institutions first, and the parties concerned are encouraged to negotiate on the basis of equality and reach a reconciliation on their own. Financial consumers shall objectively and rationally report their claims through proper channels in accordance with the law and shall not disturb the normal financial order and public order.

“Disputes over financial consumption” referred to in these Measures shall mean civil disputes between financial consumers and banks or payment institutions arising from purchase and use of financial products or services.

Article 36 Banks and payment institutions shall effectively perform their primary responsibilities of dealing with complaints from financial consumers. The corporate bodies of banks and payment institutions shall release complaint data on financial consumers and relevant analysis reports to the public on an annual basis.

Article 37 Banks and payment institutions shall publicize their ways to accept complaints through channels accessible by financial consumers, including but not limited to their business premises, the homepage of their official websites, the eye-catching position of their mobile applications and the voice prompt of the main menus on their customer service hotlines.

Article 38 Banks and payment institutions shall, as required by the PBC, strengthen the development and management of the information system for handling the complaints from financial consumers, correctly classify complaints and submit the relevant information on time. They shall not delay in submitting, omit, falsely submit, misreport or conceal complaint data.

Article 39 After receiving the complaint from a financial consumer, the bank or payment institution concerned shall handle the complaint as per the relevant laws and regulations and contracts, and inform the complainant of the handling, unless it is impossible to do so due to reasons attributable to the complainant.

Article 40 A PBC branch shall set up service channels for referral of complaints. Where a financial consumer refuses to accept the handling outcome of a complaint by a bank or payment institution, the complaint may be filed through the branch of the PBC at the domicile of the bank or payment institution, or at the place where the relevant contract is signed, or at the place where the relevant business activities occur. Where financial products or services are purchased or used through e-commerce or online transactions, a financial consumer may lodge complaints through the branch of the PBC at the domicile of the bank or payment institution.

Article 41 When filing a complaint through a branch of the PBC, a financial consumer shall provide the following information: name, valid identity document information, contact details, specific person against whom the complaint is filed and his/her domicile, specific complaint request, facts and reasons. A financial consumer may lodge a complaint personally or entrust others to lodge a complaint on his/her behalf. Where an agent is entrusted to file a complaint by means of letter or visit, the complaint materials as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, the original power of attorney and the identity certification of the principal and agent shall be submitted to the branch of the PBC. The power of attorney shall specify the agent, entrusted matters, authority and term, and be signed by the principal in person.

Article 42 A branch of the PBC shall not accept the following complaints:

(1) where the institution, product or service complained about by the complainant does not fall within the scope of regulation of the PBC.

(2) where the complainant does not provide his/her true identity, or does not have a definite respondent, or specific claims and factual bases for the complaint.

(3) where the complainant is not the financial consumer himself/herself and has not been entrusted by the financial consumer himself/herself.

(4) where any people’s court, arbitration agency, other financial regulatory authority, administrative organ or legally established mediation organization has accepted, received or handled such complaint.

(5) where the parties have reached a settlement agreement and such agreement has been implemented without any new situation or new reason.

(6) where the institution against which the complaint is filed has provided a fair and reasonable solution, but the complainant files another complaint with the PBC branch regarding the same matter.

(7) other complaints that do not comply with the relevant provisions of laws, administrative regulations, or rules.

Article 43 Where a branch of the PBC receives a complaint from a financial consumer, it shall handle it within seven working days upon receipt of the complaint as follows:

(1) registering the information of the complainant and the institution against which the complaint is filed, complaint requests, facts and reasons etc.

(2) deciding whether to accept the complaint or not. Where the complaint is not accepted, the complainant shall be notified.

(3) referring the complaint to the institution being complained for handling or to the financial consumer dispute mediation organization for mediation if the complaint is accepted.If it is necessary for the complainant to correct or supplement the contents of the complaint, the time limit for handling the complaint shall be calculated from the day when such correction or supplement is completed.

The bank or payment institution shall reply to the complainant within 15 days from the date of receiving the complaint referred by the branch of the PBC. Where the case is complex, upon approval by the person-in-charge of handling of complaint by the institution, the handling period may be extended, and the complainant shall be notified of the reason for extension of the handling period, provided that the maximum handling period shall not exceed 60 days.

Article 44 A bank or payment institution that receives a complaint forwarded by a branch of the PBC shall give feedback on the handling of the complaint to such branch as required. The feedback shall include the basic situation of the complaint, focus of dispute, investigation results and evidence, handling basis, communication with financial consumers, handling delay and the complainant’s satisfaction, etc.

The bank or payment institution shall properly retain the complaint materials for at least three years from the date when the complaint is closed. Where the laws and administrative regulations stipulate otherwise, such provisions shall prevail.

Article 45 Banks, payment institutions and financial consumers may apply to a mediation organization for mediation and neutral evaluation. After accepting an application for mediation and neutral evaluation, a mediation organization may request the parties concerned to provide assistance or the relevant documents and materials within a reasonable and necessary scope. For the purpose of these Measures, “neutral evaluation” refers to the act that mediation organizations engage independent experts to put forward reference suggestions on dispute resolution.

Article 46 A mediation organization for financial consumer disputes shall, in accordance with laws, administrative regulations, rules and its articles of association, organize the mediation and neutral evaluation of disputes over financial consumption and provide guidance on financial literacy and education and training for banks, payment institutions and financial consumers.

Chapter V Supervision and Administration Mechanism

Article 47 The PBC shall conduct a comprehensive study of major issues concerning the protection of financial consumers, take the responsibility of drawing up development plans and business standards, and establish a sound basic system for the protection of financial consumers.

Article 48 The PBC and its branches shall, together with other financial regulatory authorities and relevant departments of local governments, establish and improve the coordination mechanism for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, strengthen the supervision over the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests across markets, industries and regions, and enhance information sharing, communication and cooperation among departments.

Article 49 The PBC and its branches shall coordinate the education of financial consumers, guide and urge banks and payment institutions to carry out promotion and publicity activities of financial knowledge, coordinate and promote the inclusion of financial knowledge in the national education system, and organize and carry out financial literacy survey for consumers.

Article 50 The PBC and its branches shall, in concert with the relevant authorities, establish a cooperative mechanism for regulation and law enforcement, and explore the cooperation in carrying out the specific work such as supervision, inspection and assessment of the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests.

Article 51 The PBC and its branches shall take the lead in establishing a non-litigation third-party resolution mechanism, encourage and support social organizations for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests to perform their duties in accordance with the law, and promote the establishment of a fair, efficient, and convenient diversified financial consumer dispute resolution system.

Article 52 The PBC and its branches shall coordinate and promote relevant work related to inclusive finance, establish and improve inclusive finance work mechanisms, guide and urge banks and payment institutions to implement inclusive finance development strategies, and organize to carry out specific work related to inclusive finance within their scope of responsibilities.

Article 53 The PBC and its branches shall summarize and analyze the information on the complaints of financial consumers, and optimize the supervision and administration mode for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests and the code of conduct for financial institutions in due time based on the summarization and analysis results.

Article 54 The PBC and its branches may take the following measures to conduct supervision and inspection over the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests by banks and payment institutions within the scope of their duties in accordance with the law:

(1) entering the regulated institutions to conduct inspection.

(2) inquiring of the functionaries of the regulated institutions and requiring them to explain the inspection matters.

(3) consulting and copying the documents and materials related to inspection matters of the regulated institutions and registering and preserving the documents and materials that may be transferred, concealed or destroyed.

(4) examining the computer networks and information systems of the regulated institutions.When conducting on-site inspection, there shall be not less than two inspectors who shall present their credentials and the notice of inspection.

Banks and payment institutions shall actively cooperate in the on-site inspection and off-site inspection of the PBC and its branches, truthfully provide relevant information, and shall not refuse, obstruct or evade the inspection, misrepresent, conceal or destroy relevant evidentiary materials.

Article 55 Where banks or payment institutions infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers, the PBC and its branches may take the following measures against them:

(1) requiring them to submit written statements or commitments.

(2) arranging regulatory talks.

(3) ordering rectification within a specified time limit.

(4) providing feedback on the relevant information to their institutions at a higher level and industrial regulators, releasing within the industry or making public, as the case may be.

(5) advising banks and payment institutions to impose sanctions on the directors and senior executives directly in charge and other directly liable persons.

(6) investigating and punishing according to law or suggesting that other administrative organs investigate and punish according to law.

(7) other measures that the PBC may take in accordance with the law and within the scope of its duties.

Article 56 The PBC and its branches organize the assessment of performance of the obligation of protecting financial consumers’ rights and interests by banks and payment institutions. The assessment shall be based on the self-assessment of banks and payment institutions. Banks and payment institutions shall conduct self-assessment on an annual basis and submit self-assessment reports to the PBC or its branches prior to January 31 of the following year.

The PBC and its branches shall conduct off-site assessment according to routine supervision and administration, complaint management and self-assessment of banks and payment institutions and may also conduct on-site assessment when necessary.

Article 57 The PBC and its branches may carry out environmental assessment for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, as the case may be.

Article 58 The PBC and its branches shall establish a case library system for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests and give risk warnings to banks, payment institutions and financial consumers under the principle of putting prevention first and taking education as the main method.

Article 59 In case of any major emergency involving the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, the PBC and its branches shall properly carry out emergency disposal in accordance with the relevant provisions.

Chapter VI Legal Liability

Article 60 Where banks and payment institutions infringe upon the rights of consumers for their financial information to be protected in accordance with the law under any of the following circumstances, the PBC or its branches shall impose punishments within the scope of their duties in accordance with Article 56 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers:

(1) collecting or using financial information without the express consent of financial consumers.

(2) collecting consumers’ financial information irrelevant to their business or collecting consumers’ financial information in an improper manner.

(3) failing to disclose the rules for collection and use of consumers’ financial information, and failing to expressly indicate the purposes, methods and scope with respect to the collection and use of consumers’ financial information.

(4) using consumers’ financial information for purposes other than those specified by laws and regulations and agreed upon by both parties.

(5) failing to establish a management system for the use of consumers’ financial information centered on hierarchical authorization or failing to strictly implement approval procedures for authorization of information use.

(6) failing to adopt technical measures and other necessary measures, thus resulting in the loss, damage, disclosure or falsification of consumers’ financial information, or illegally providing such information to others.

Article 61 Where banks and payment institutions fall under any of the following circumstances and make false or misleading publicity of financial products or services, the PBC or its branches shall, within the scope of their duties, impose punishments in accordance with Article 56 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers:

(1) actually assuming the obligations lower than the standards promised to financial consumers in the form of advertisements, materials or explanations in the marketing and publicity activities.

(2) exaggerating the past performance or return on products by citing untrue or inaccurate data and materials or concealing the restrictive conditions.

(3) making use of review or record-filing procedures for financial products or services of financial regulatory authorities to mislead financial consumers into thinking that financial regulatory authorities have provided a guarantee for such financial products or services.

(4) making any express or implied promise on the principal protection, no risk or guaranteed return, and making guaranteed commitment on future effects, proceeds or other relevant information of any non-principal-guaranteed investment-oriented financial products.

Article 62 Where banks and payment institutions violate these Measures and are under any of the following circumstances, they shall be punished in accordance with the penalty provisions, if any, as stipulated in relevant laws and administrative regulations; if the relevant laws and administrative regulations do not provide the penalty provisions, the PBC or any of its branches shall, depending on the seriousness of the circumstance, give a warning or/and impose a fine of not less than 5,000 yuan but not more than 30,000 yuan:

(1) failing to establish a special department or designate a leading department for the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests, or the said department lacks sufficient human and material resources to carry out the work independently.

(2) arbitrarily handling business for financial consumers, arbitrarily modifying the business instructions of financial consumers, or compulsorily tying other products or services.

(3) failing to disclose the important contents relating to financial products and services to financial consumers as required.

(4) forcing or forcing in a disguised form financial consumers to accept financial products or services by virtue of technical means or dominant positions, or excluding or restricting financial consumers from accepting financial products or services provided by peer institutions.

(5) requiring, by means of imposing additional restrictive conditions, financial consumers to purchase or use the products or services that are not expressly specified in the relevant agreement.

(6) failing to use the standard terms as required.

(7) failing to timely report to the PBC or its branches any major event of infringement upon the legitimate rights and interests of financial consumers.

(8) failing to cooperate with the PBC and its branches in carrying out the relevant work in the field of the protection of financial consumers’ rights and interests or failing to submit the relevant materials as required.

(9) failing to correctly classify complaints from financial consumers as required, or delaying the reporting of, omitting, misstating, misreporting or concealing complaint data.

(10) failing to give a reply to the complainant within the prescribed time limit or failing to give feedback on the handling of the complaint to the branch of the PBC as required after receiving the complaint referred by the branch of the PBC.

(11) refusing, obstructing or evading inspection, or giving false information, concealing or destroying relevant evidential materials.

Article 63 For directors, senior executives and other persons directly liable for a major case of infringement upon rights and interests of financial consumers by banks or payment institutions, if there are penalty provisions in the relevant laws or administrative regulations, they shall be penalized in accordance with such provisions; if there are no penalty provisions in the relevant laws or administrative regulations, the PBC or its branches shall, as the case may be, give a warning and/or impose a fine of not less than 5,000 yuan but not more than 30,000 yuan.

Article 64 Where any staff member of the PBC and its branches falls under any of the following circumstances during the process of protecting financial consumers’ rights and interests, he/she shall be punished in accordance with the law; and if he/she is suspected of being involved in a crime, the case shall be referred to a judicial organ for investigation of criminal liability in accordance with the law:

(1) conduct inspection on banks and payment institutions in violation of provisions.

(2) divulging any state or commercial secret known by him/her.

(3) other acts of abusing powers or neglecting duties.

Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions

Article 65 These Measures shall apply as reference to wealth management subsidiaries of commercial banks, financial asset management companies, trust companies, auto finance companies, consumer finance companies and credit reporting agencies as well as franchised business operators of domestic and foreign currency exchange for individuals. Where the laws and administrative regulations stipulate otherwise, such provisions shall prevail.

Article 66 For the purpose of these Measures, “days” other than “working days” refer to calendar days.

Article 67 These Measures shall be interpreted by the PBC.

Article 68 These Measures shall come into force as of November 1, 2020, simultaneously repealing the Administrative Measures of the People’s Bank of China on the Protection of Financial Consumers’ Rights and Interests (for Trial Implementation) (Yin Ban Fa [2013] No. 107) and the Implementing Measures of the People’s Bank of China for Protection of Financial Consumers’ Rights and Interests (Yin Fa [2016] No. 314).

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