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China shadow bank crisis sparks protest by angry investors

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A GROUP of investors protested at the Beijing office of Zhongrong International Trust after the Chinese shadow banking giant missed payments on dozens of products.

Videos of the incident appear to show around two dozen protesters at Zhongrong, at least one representative of the company, and around 10 police and security officers. It’s the latest sign of turmoil at the trust company, whose liquidity crisis has fuelled alarm within financial markets and among Chinese regulators.

In one of the clips seen by Bloomberg News, a woman angrily asks about a product she owned that matured on July 28. “Why doesn’t the company pay us back?” she says. “It has already matured. Your financial statements said there is a profit.”

Another woman shouts: “Give us the money back, or we will die here.” A third says: “Why you don’t give us a clear explanation?”

A man with a loudspeaker who apparently represents Zhongrong says: “We don’t think this is a regulation-violating project or a regulation-violating product.” The exact timing of the protest couldn’t immediately be determined.

A reporter who visited the Zhongrong office on Wednesday (Aug 16) afternoon didn’t see any protesters, but there was an unusually heavy police presence around the building. Officers were seen sitting in several police vans and cars parked inside and outside the office compound, and other police vehicles were placed on roads nearby. 

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