Caixin
Jul 30, 2022 04:09 AM
FINANCE

Three More Henan Banking Officials Come Under Investigation

What’s new: Three more banking officials in Central China’s Henan province came under investigation by anti-graft agencies as probes of the province’s financial system expand in the wake of a multibillion-dollar banking scandal.

Guo Qin, an inspector in the provincial branch of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), and Xia Jun, head of Kaifeng office of the CBIRC’s Henan branch, are suspected of serious violations of law and Communist Party discipline, the CBIRC said Friday in a statement.

Separately, Zhaog Dewang, director of the financial stability department of the Zhengzhou central branch of the People's Bank of China, is under investigation for suspected similar serious violations, the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) office in Henan said Friday.

No details of the investigations were disclosed, but such announcements typically refer to corruption.

The job responsibilities of Guo and Xia included supervision of the village banks at center of the scandal after they froze tens of billions of yuan of customer savings in April. Guo’s predecessor Li Huanting was placed under investigation a few days ago.

The background: Four Henan village banks—Yuzhou Xin Min Sheng Village Bank, Tuocheng Huanghuai Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin Village Bank and Kaifeng Xin Dong Fang Village Bank—along with two more in neighboring Anhui province have been under scrutiny since customers complained in mid-April that they couldn’t make withdrawals online.

Initial investigations found that a criminal group led by the controlling shareholder of private company Henan Xincaifu Group Investment Holding Co. Ltd. is suspected of using the village banks to carry out illegal deposit-taking since 2011. The gang is thought to have gained control of the lenders through illicit means, sold financial products through their own platform and set up shell companies to conceal information, the police said.

Authorities arrested several dozen people linked to the scandal. Several officials from Henan and local banking regulators are also under investigation, according to Henan graft busters.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bob.simison@caixin.com)

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