Death of a 30-year-old female investment banker sparks discussions, stirs public concerns over psychological health of practitioners
Published: Jul 04, 2024 01:51 AM
A female employee is working overtime at her desk. Photo: VCG

A female employee is working overtime at her desk. File Photo: VCG

The death of a 30-year-old female investment banker from one of the largest investment banks in China sparked heated discussions online on Wednesday and stirred public concerns over the psychological health issues that the practitioners of the sector are facing because of the recent salary cuts in the industry. 

Speculation that a female investment banker surnamed Zheng from China International Capital Corporation (CICC) died of a suicidal jump from her company office in Shanghai went viral on Wednesday. 

The company replied to the National Business Daily that the information circulated online about the details of her death were rumors and the company expected the public to respect the privacy of the deceased and not to believe or spread rumors. 

According to CICC, the company expressed its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased employee and immediately established a special task work group to cope with this sudden incident together with the employee’s family members and to properly handle related matters. 

Many netizens also expressed their condolences for the death of this young woman whose personal resume exposed by some netizens shows that she used to be an elite student with outstanding academic performance and rich foreign exchange experiences. 

Despite that CICC denied that she died of a suicidal jump, online speculation showed that Zheng committed suicide resulted from overlapping multiple factors including pay reductions, housing mortgage and the economic losses caused by the decline in housing prices. 

Information and screenshots circulated online show that Zheng’s loan balance was over 11 million yuan ($1.51 million) with her monthly loan repayment amounted to as much as 56,872 yuan. 

According to the National Business Daily, employees’ per capita salary in the securities industry has been decreasing in the past few years. The income per capita of CICC fell from 1.16 million yuan in 2021 to 700,400 yuan in 2023. The trend of salary reductions seems to show no signs of easing in 2024. Statistics show that CICC’s per capita payroll payable in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to 105,200 yuan, or 35,000 yuan per month, which was a huge drop from the 100,000 yuan per month back in 2020, a nearly 65 percent decline over the past four years. 

Despite the high salary in the industry, sudden deaths of the practitioners in the financial sector have occurred from time to time over the past few years. 
In May of 2019, Mao Junhua, a senior executive from Ant Group, died of cancer. Mao also worked as an analyst at CICC before he joined Ant Group. 
In March of 2021, an investment banker of Sinolink Securities Co died of sudden cardiac arrest at the age of only 39. 

These tragic cases of premature deaths of workers in the financial sector have served as a wake-up call for the management of mental and physical health for professionals in the industry.

Global Times