Chinese bank executives investigated, arrested amid tightened crackdown on corruption
Published: Sep 13, 2021 08:13 PM

A view of the CITIC Bank in Shanghai in March 2021 Photo: cnsphoto

A view of the CITIC Bank in Shanghai in March 2021 Photo: cnsphoto

Several senior executives of Chinese banks were put under investigation or arrested over recent weeks as China tightened the fight against corruption in the financial sector, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the highest internal disciplinary body of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Xie Hongru, former Party chief and former head of the Guangzhou branch of CITIC Bank, was put under investigation on Friday. The same day, Gao Youqing, former Party chief and former head of the Jiangsu branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, was expelled from the Party. On Thursday, He Xingxiang, deputy governor of China Development Bank, was revealed to be under CCDI investigation.

The tightened crackdown followed the 10th meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs held in August, which stressed making financial supervision more digital and intelligent, taking targeted steps to punish financial corruption and to prevent and control financial risks, and accelerating reforms in key areas. 

Since the beginning of the year, at least eight high-ranking executives from four large state-owned banks have been investigated, with 10 senior executives from Chinese lenders or institutional banks being investigated and punished.

Charges include abuse of power, violation in granting loans, embezzlement, and illegal investment and operation.

Since the 19th CPC National Congress was held in 2017, the CCDI has filed 93 major financial corruption cases across China's banking and insurance sectors, nearly three times the total number during the five-year period since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, according to Li Xinran, an inspector with the CCDI.