The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public in Hong Kong to a suspected Internet fraud involving "East Asia Credit", a website with the domain name "www.eastasiacredit.com". This website uses a name similar to that of East Asia Credit Company Limited, which was a subsidiary of The Bank of East Asia, Limited (BEA). East Asia Credit Company Limited's authorization as an authorized institution was revoked after it was merged with BEA on 26 May 2003. According to the website, "East Asia Credit" has offices in Ireland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The website claims that "East Asia Credit" offers a number of banking and investment services, including deposit taking.
The public should be aware that "East Asia Credit" is not authorized under the Banking Ordinance to carry on banking business or the business of taking deposits in Hong Kong. BEA has issued a press statement today to clarify that this website has no affiliation with BEA, nor with any of its employees or existing or former subsidiaries.
BEA has already referred this website to the Hong Kong Police Force for further investigation. The HKMA has also been liaising with the financial authorities in Ireland and Taiwan to take appropriate action in relation to this website. Anyone who has dealings with "East Asia Credit" should contact any local Police Station or the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force at 2860 5012.
"Members of the public in Hong Kong are reminded to verify the status of any organisation making use of the Internet to solicit deposits from the public, " said a HKMA spokesperson. "Only authorized institutions regulated under the Banking Ordinance are allowed to carry on banking business or the business of taking deposits in Hong Kong. A list of authorized institutions is available on the HKMA's website (www.hkma.gov.hk). Members of the public may also check the status of any entity in Hong Kong which solicits deposits from the public with the HKMA by calling 2878 8222".
For further enquiries, please contact:
Kevin Ip, Manager (Press), at 2878 1687 or
Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press), at 2878 1480
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
24 September 2003