SHANGHAI, July 25 (Reuters) - China’s foreign exchange regulator handled a 20 percent increase in violations of forex regulations in the first half of the year compared with the same period of 2017, meting out 345 million yuan ($51 million) worth of fines across 1,354 cases, it said.
The violations cited included carrying out false transactions involving fake receipts, poor due diligence and improper clearance of cross-border payments.
The fines by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, were up 60 percent from the amount in the first half of last year, it said in a statement online. Branches of major banks and online third-party payment platforms were among those penalized.
The announcement comes at a time when the Chinese currency is facing renewed depreciation pressure following its worst month on record in June when it fell about 3.3 percent to the U.S. dollar. The yuan is down nearly 8 percent since the end of the first quarter.
The forex regulator vowed to continue to crack down on market irregularities including underground banks and illegal foreign exchange trading platforms to safeguard economic and financial security. ($1 = 6.8030 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch Editing by Shri Navaratnam)