Caixin
Jul 23, 2019 08:07 PM
FINANCE

20 Bankers Have Been Placed Under Corruption Investigation This Year

Party members and cadres visit an education exhibition on party conduct and clean government in East China’s Anhui province in September 2017. Photo: VCG
Party members and cadres visit an education exhibition on party conduct and clean government in East China’s Anhui province in September 2017. Photo: VCG

China’s national campaign to combat corruption has swept through the finance industry this year, with Caixin calculating that at least 20 banking executives have been placed under investigation in the past six months.

This month, Zhong Xiaolong, head of the Shandong provincial branch of China Development Bank, one of the nation’s three state-owned policy lenders, committed suicide amid an ongoing investigation at the provincial branch of China Development Bank in Northwest China’s Jilin province. That probe exposed losses of more than 3 billion yuan ($436 million) at the branch tied to illegal loan guarantees.

China has been aggressively tackling corruption in government agencies and related institutions in a years-long clampdown that began in late 2012. This year, the campaign has expanded into finance. Caixin’s tally includes 20 former and current banking executives ranging from those at big state-owned banks and policy banks to city commercial and rural commercial banks.

On the high-profile side, Guo Lin, a former executive of China Development Bank, was put under investigation in February. Jiang Bin, a former head of provincial-level branches of the Export-Import Bank of China, was revealed to be under investigation for serious violations of the law in May.

Executives at each of China’s “Big Five” state-owned commercial banks have been put under probe. Three current and former executives of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) have come under investigation so far this year.

The Shanghai branch of ICBC was shaken in June as Gu Guoming, its party chief and president, came under investigation by the country’s top graft watchdog. In less than a month, Lü Hong, a deputy head of the Shanghai branch, was also placed under investigation, sources told Caixin in early July.

Bank of China Ltd., another of the Big Five, saw four former or current staffers placed under investigation. China Construction Bank Corp., Agriculture Bank of China Ltd., Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., saw two, one and one, respectively.

Contact reporter Timmy Shen (hongmingshen@caixin.com, Twitter: @timmyhmshen)

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