Banks begin liquidation of inactive accounts and cards in China

Very relevant information for foreigners who are not currently in China and therefore do not make transactions on their accounts in Chinese banks, including with their bank card.
In February 2022, a number of Chinese banks once again launched an operation to clear dormant, so-called "sleepy accounts" - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications and other banks successively issued announcements to investigate and clear personal accounts. Different banks apply similar criteria for evaluating inactive accounts, the most common criterion is that the account balance is less than 10 yuan.

        Consider this situation using the example of ICBC bank, which is the most popular bank among foreigners in China.
From February 2022, ICBC will gradually introduce account feature adjustments for personal bank accounts, such as "long-term immobilization." In particular, if there have been no active transactions for more than three consecutive years as of January 10, 2022, the current account balance is less than 10 yuan, and the accounts on which the credit card is not signed, personal loan repayment and other fees and charges of the agreement will be included in the adjustment and can be classified as inactive.

        In fact, this is not the first time ICBC has issued an announcement to clear "sleepy accounts": Back in July 2021, ICBC issued a "Notice to Clear Long-Term Personal Bank Accounts". but since February 2022, the rules have become stricter.

        Apart from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the recent clearing of dormant accounts at Bank of Communications, Fushun Bank and other banks is no longer limited to zero-balance accounts.

       For example, starting from December 10, 2021, if there are no transactions on the account for more than three consecutive years (including three years), the account balance is 10 yuan (inclusive) or less, and the credit card, personal loan repayment, or other there are no payments, then active operations with the account will be suspended.

      According to a report released recently by China UnionPay, "sleepy cards" have potential risks for accounts. Among respondents who suffered capital losses, more than 3% of respondents said that they borrowed bank cards for profit, and mainly focused on students, small businesses, etc.

     The "2021 Mobile Payment Security Research Report" released by China UnionPay shows that in 2022, mobile payments will acquire new features, the protection of the rights and interests of financial consumers will be improved, and the loss of respondents per capita will decrease.
In everyday life, many people apply for several bank cards at the same time, some of them become "sleepy cards" due to the low utilization rate. The report shows that people who borrow bank cards are more likely to lose money and lose more money. Respondents with more than 10 bank cards who suffered losses have an average loss of more than 3,000 yuan, which is 50% higher than the average loss of the affected group.

     According to the Xinhua news agency, in terms of fraud methods, online live broadcasts and virtual currency trading advertisements account for a higher share. The report shows that about 11% of the surveyed groups experienced live online fraud with an average loss of more than 3,500 yuan, among which the elderly group has a higher proportion of large-scale fraud losses.

     Among the groups involved in the virtual currency trading hype, the largest share is in groups over 45 years old, small and micro business owners, individual entrepreneurs and students.

     China UnionPay's risk control experts advise that consumers should manage their personal accounts and QR codes well, manage their "sleep cards" and related accounts, and avoid lending or renting bank cards and collection codes. At the same time, protect sensitive personal information. In addition, strongly resist online gambling, illegal currency exchange in WeChat groups, money laundering and other illegal and criminal activities and actively report such illegal platforms