Former chairman of state-owned bank China Everbright Group arrested over suspected corruption

Chinese prosecutors say the former chairman of state-owned Chinese bank China Everbright Group has been arrested on suspicion of corruption and bribery

Zen Soo
Monday 15 January 2024 09:54 GMT

The former chairman of state-owned Chinese bank China Everbright Group has been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and bribery, prosecutors said in a statement Monday, amid an intensified campaign against corruption.

The investigation into Tang Shuangning, the former party secretary and chairman of China Everbright Group has ended and the case would be “transferred to the procuratorate for review and prosecution,” China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate said in a statement.

Tang, 69, was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party earlier this month over violations of disciplines and laws, amid a crackdown on corruption in China’s financial sector. He retired in 2017.

Other allegations against him include weakening the party's leadership over the bank, failing to prevent and defuse financial risks, “privately reading publications with serious political problems and resisting organizational scrutiny,” the party-run newspaper Global Times cited the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the National Supervisory Commission as saying.

Another alleged transgression: promoting his calligraphy. Tang has published several volumes of calligraphy and poems.

Chinese president Xi Jinping earlier this month pledged to intensify a crackdown on graft in the finance, energy and infrastructure sectors, part of a longstanding campaign against corruption since he came to power since 2012.

As of April 2022, 4.7 million people had been punished for corruption, according to state-owned media reports.

Tang served as vice president of the China Banking Regulatory Commission from 2003 to 2007, before his appointment as chairman of China Everbright Group. He was first investigated in July.

China Everbright is one of about a dozen commercial banks founded in China in the early 1990s. Its shares are listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. It is controlled by Central Huijin, a state-owned investment company.

Tang's successor Li Xiaopeng was also suspected of graft, expelled from the party and removed from public office.

Others who have been punished for alleged corruption include Sun Guofeng, a former Chinese central bank senior official, who was sentenced to over 16 years in prison for accepting bribes.

Sun Deshun, former president of state-owned China CITIC Bank, was sentenced to life imprisonment for accepting over $130 million in bribes during his career.

Another finance executive, Zhang Hongli, who was a former senior executive of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China's biggest bank, has also been investigated for graft.

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