Black-market financial networks to be legalized soon

Variously translated as “black-market financial networks”, “underground money exchangers” or “underground banks”, the dixia qianzhuang 地下钱庄 are informal financial institutions.

It’s way too easy to portray this as a Chinese peculiarity, something oh, so picturesque and culturally specific. Look carefully among any immigrant community and you’ll find plenty of similar organizations. As for us, qianzhuang are run by Wenzhou people in Milan, Turin, Rome, Naples, Prato and several other Italian cities, too.

These disgressions apart, the State Council is examining the

放贷人条例
Regulations on loan-granting by individuals

and will pass them in January 2009, to regulate what is still an informal market.

The turnover of informal banking institutions has been estimated in 60.000.000.000 yuan (600 yi). Yes, that’s 6.000.000.000 EUR/7.631.694.000 USD.

According to this websitepassing such regulations will contribute to the healthy development of the private economy.”



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