Chinese Authorities Said to Probe Nanjing Peer-to-Peer Lender

  • Easy Richness raised at least 10 billion yuan from investors
  • China has tightened P2P regulations amid boom in industry

Chinese regulators are investigating Nanjing Easy Richness Financial Information Service Co., a regional peer-to-peer lender that has raised at least 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) from investors, people familiar with the matter said.

The firm’s branch in Shaoxing was checked by authorities last week and the probe may be extended to other outlets, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The probes don’t mean the firm violated any rules, according to the people.

Easy Richness hadn’t received any notice from regulators regarding an extended probe, said an official at the firm, who declined to be named, citing company policy.

Authorities had made a routine check on its Shaoxing branch, the company said in a statement on its official Wechat account on Sunday. It also denied a China Business Journal report, which claimed there was a discrepancy between details provided by the company on its projects and U.S. partner and information in public records in the U.S. and China.

China has tightened regulations on thousands of online peer-to-peer lenders as failed platforms and suspected fraud highlight risks within a booming industry. The number of so-called “problematic platforms” rose to 1,523 as of March 31, accounting for 38 percent of the total, according to Yingcan Group, which tracks the data. Just 126 new platforms were established in the three months through March, down from 410 in the previous quarter, the data showed.

— With assistance by Jun Luo, and Steven Yang

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