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Chinese anti-graft body criticises banks for ‘extravagance’

BEIJING (AFP) – Beijing’s anti-graft body has criticised more than 20 state banks, regulators, insurers and bad-debt managers following an investigation into corruption and financial risks, citing “many outstanding problems” in their work.

The probe of some of China’s most important financial bodies comes amid a sweeping regulatory crackdown on major tech and property firms, and an ongoing debt crisis in the country’s massive real estate sector, most notably the giant Evergrande Group.

“Formalism, bureaucracy and extravagance are still prominent,” the country’s top disciplinary watchdog said in a Thursday statement.

Among the failings outlined were the financial institutions’ trouble implementing Communist Party goals and strategy as well as a lack of awareness and mechanisms to guard against unacceptable financial risk.

The feedback from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, given to 25 institutions, followed a review that began in October.

It added that some bodies also lacked “political responsibility” in implementing financial reforms and cautioned that corruption risks remained in key positions.

Those targetted for criticism included the People’s Bank of China, the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, and regulators such as the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Bad-debt manager China Huarong Asset Management was also on the list.