UPDATE 1-China launches new round of graft busting in finance sector

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BEIJING, Oct 12 (Businesshala) – China’s ruling Community Party this month turned its eyes to the country’s vast financial sector, launching a new round of a year-long campaign to expose corruption and illegal transactions.

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The country’s top anti-corruption watchdog has launched a nearly two-month inspection of more than 20 institutions, including central banks, banking and insurance regulators, stock exchanges, commercial banks and asset management companies, in its first coordinated inspection of the sector. from 2015.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is investigating ties that state banks and other financial institutions have developed with large private companies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the plan.

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There is a broad “political examination” of party committees in financial institutions and regulators, according to statements issued by the Central Disciplinary Inspection Commission (CCDI) on Tuesday.

CCDI inspectors will look for any breach of political discipline – a party euphemism for corruption.

The oversight followed in late September by China’s top anti-corruption official Zhao Leizhi for a thorough inspection of party organizations of 25 state financial institutions and regulators.

When the sector was last inspected in 2015, at least a few hundred bankers and officials were condemned and fired. Crimes included holding prohibited internal banquets and accepting holidays from customers.

In 2017, Jiang Junbo, the former chairman of China’s insurance regulator, was ousted from his post following an investigation by one of the most senior financial regulators in years. Jiang was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2020.

In January this year, China executed Lai Xiaomin, the former head of China Huarong Asset Management Company, after being found guilty of accepting a bribe of 1.79 billion yuan.

On Monday, the CCDI said the former chairman and party chief of Chang’an Bank, located in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, had been expelled from the party and public office due to corruption.

In recent months, Chinese regulators have also targeted sectors ranging from technology to education and property, targeting some of the country’s biggest firms such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings. (Reporting by Ryan Woo and Cheng Leng; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Lewis Heavens)

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