China’s ex-‘super bank’ chief faces probe as Beijing’s financial sector corruption crackdown continues
02 Aug 2019

The former chairman of a state lender known as “Beijing’s super bank” is being investigated for “a serious disciplinary violation”, according to a statement from the Communist Party’s enforcement agency on Wednesday.

Hu Huaibang, who was chairman of China Development Bank (CDB) for more than five years until his retirement in September last year, is suspected to be the latest in an already long line of heavyweight financial officials toppled by Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign.

Also former party chief within the policy bank, Hu follows the likes of Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of the giant state-owned China Huarong Asset Management who was put on trial on charges of corruption in February 2019, and Xiang Junbo, former head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission, who stood trial last June.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection – the party disciplinary watchdog – did not specify what Hu was accused of, but the wording, based on previous usage, implies corruption.

CDB is one of the Chinese central government’s three policy banks, which issue loans at the direction of Beijing. The others are the Agriculture Development Bank of China and the Export-Import Bank of China. It plays a crucial role in financing the country’s mega infrastructure projects at home and strategic investment deals abroad.

Hu’s possible involvement in illegal activities was first made public last October, when state television disclosed evidence presented to a court hearing about the corruption charges against Wang Sanyun, the former Communist Party chief of Gansu province, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison in April.

The court heard that Wang had used Hu as a conduit for CEFC Shanghai, a subsidiary of CEFC China, which was controlled by now vanished tycoon Ye Jianming, to take equity positions in the Bank of Hainan. Hu is also alleged to have been involved in a deal whereby Wang helped CEFC Hainan, another subsidiary, to obtain a US$4.8 billion credit line.

By Zhou Xin, South China Morning Post, 31 July 2019

Read more at South China Morning Post

Photo: Max12Max [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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