Former Export-Import Bank Branch President Under Investigation for Graft
(Beijing) — Li Changjun, the former Party chief and president of the Beijing branch of the Export-Import Bank of China, who authorities say is under investigation for corruption, turned himself in to authorities a month ago, Caixin has learned.
The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced on Sunday night that Li is under investigation for suspected “serious violation of party discipline.” Such an announcement is usually made when a government official is under investigation for corruption.
The CCDI did not elaborate on Li’s alleged violations. But multiple sources have told Caixin that Li turned himself in to authorities a month ago and admitted to having issued letters of credit or letters of guarantee for personal purposes when he was working at a Shenzhen branch of the Export-Import Bank. Such actions can result in charges of illegal issuance of financial bills, or forging financial instruments. The amount of money involved is not clear.
Li worked for the Export-Import Bank for a decade, serving as the general manager of a planning department at the Beijing headquarters, head of its Shenzhen branch from May 2012 to August 2016, and then as head of the bank’s Beijing branch.
Guarantee business is an important source of income for the Export-Import Bank. The bank handled $12.77 billion worth of guarantee business in 2015, according to its annual report in 2015.
Letters of credit and letters of guarantee are businesses outside the banks’ balance sheet, meaning they are not subject to regular official supervision. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has strengthened its supervision of off-balance-sheet businesses in the past three years, and has stepped up control in recent months to rein in financial risk.
Contact reporter Wu Gang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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