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Central Bank Arranges Services for Quake Survivors

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said Wednesday quake survivors who had lost both their identity cards and bankbooks could withdraw a maximum of 5,000 yuan (US$714.3) at the temporary facilities of local commercial banks.

The bank urged its branches in the quake zone to consult the local authorities for a list of the dead and missing, and it ordered commercial banks to freeze those accounts.

It also ordered commercial banks to help the beneficiaries of such accounts to complete relevant procedures after they had produced evidence of their status.

Automatic teller machines and point of sale terminals, the two main interfaces for long-distance financial data transmission, would be installed at banks and shops in temporary resettlement zones and people would not be charged service fees, it said.

The PBOC also said it would open temporary deposit accounts for relief teams from the army and the armed police.

Chinese banks have been told to help quake victims and relief work by lifting credit lines, extending loan maturities and quickly writing off overdue loans in the quake zone.

The PBOC earlier added 7 billion yuan (US$1 billion) to the re-lending quotas for financial institutions in quake-hit regions, in an effort to increase lenders' liquidity and support their credit supply to quake relief and reconstruction work.

(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2008)

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