Veteran Insurance Regulator Falls in Anti-Graft Campaign
A veteran provincial insurance regulator is now under investigation by authorities, the latest case in China’s years-long anti-corruption campaign in the financial sector.
Qi Xinzheng, chief of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC)’s branch in the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, has been placed under investigation for alleged “serious violations in (Communist Party) discipline and law” — a euphemism for corruption.
The investigation was jointly announced (link in Chinese) Friday by a team from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection — the party’s top anti-graft agency — installed at the CBIRC, and the top graft busting agency in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
In recent years, China’s sweeping campaign to clean up corruption in both financial regulation and industries has resulted in multiple high-ranking regulators and tycoons falling from grace, including Xiang Junbo, former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) — the country’s former insurance regulatory agency, which was merged with the top banking regulatory agency in March 2018 to form the CBIRC amid a government overhaul.
Qi, 52, had worked in the insurance regulation system for 14 years. Before he assumed his current position in Fujian in November 2018, Qi spent three years working as chief of the CBIRC’s — previously the CIRC’s — Jiangsu provincial branch. Until 2015, he worked at the CIRC’s provincial-level branch in Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region for 10 years.
“(He) is not that responsible in doing things,” said a CBIRC official familiar with Qi.
It’s unclear what triggered the probe into Qi, but it’s worth noting that it was announced by Jiangsu’s graft buster, not Fujian’s, suggesting that his alleged corrupt practices occurred in the former province.
Qi is the second banking and insurance regulator to have been the subject of an anti-corruption probe in two months.
In late May, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection team at the CBIRC and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region’s graft busting agency announced (link in Chinese) that Zhao Rulin, 53, a deputy chief of the CBIRC’s branch in the southern Chinese provincial-level region, had been placed under investigation.
China’s previously fragmented regulatory system had long allowed financial tycoons to carry out shady, high-risk practices, breeding corruption that has brought down multiple senior officials — including Yang Jiacai, a former assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, as well as Yao Gang and Zhang Yujun, a former vice chairman and an assistant chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
Contact reporter Lin Jinbing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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