With the recent detentions and arrests of star investors and top bank executives, President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption in China’s finance industry shows no signs of letting up after it kicked off two years ago.
(Bloomberg) — With the recent detentions and arrests of star investors and top bank executives, President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption in China’s finance industry shows no signs of letting up after it kicked off two years ago.
The country’s top procuratorate announced Monday it has arrested Liu Liange, the former party chief and chairman of Bank of China Ltd., one of the most senior state banker to be accused of wrongdoing in almost two decades.
Wang Yawei, a star fund manager, was detained in August, Reuters reported last week. Li Xiaopeng, former chairman and party secretary of China Everbright Group, was arrested last week and Wang Bin, former head of its top life insurer China Life Insurance Co., was in September sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.
The wave of finance professionals and even regulators accused of wrongdoing is unprecedented after a clampdown that started in late 2021. At least 108 financial officials and executives have been probed or punished this year, according to Bloomberg calculations based on government statements.
The most sever punishments in recent years were handed to Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., who was executed, and Hu Huaibang, the former chair of China’s biggest policy bank, who was handed life imprisonment.
The corruption fight has been a signature issue for Xi since he took power a decade ago and has brought down more than 1.5 million government officials. Oversight of the $61 trillion financial sector has also become more urgent as policymakers have enlisted the nation’s banks to help support the struggling economy.
At a meeting chaired by Xi in September, China’s Politburo vowed to enhance anti-corruption efforts at state-owned enterprises and the financial industry, while urging them to better serve the economy.
Authorities warned in late March that the crackdown is far from over, telling bankers in to rectify their mindsets, clean up their “hedonistic” lifestyles and stop copying Western ways. They have been ordered to draw lessons from the probes, step up self-discipline, and study Xi’s thoughts in an ideology push as the Communist Party tightens grip on the sector.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.