BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) - A senior official at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is under investigation for suspected links to a loan scandal, the financial magazine Caixin reported, citing sources close to the matter.
Yang Jiacai, assistant chairman of CBRC, has been under investigation since April 9 in connection with the scandal in Hubei province, Caixin said late on Saturday, following days of rumours circulating online that Yang had gone missing.
China’s graft watchdog on April 9 also announced an investigation into the chairman of the country’s insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, the most senior financial regulator to be investigated as part of a government fight against graft.
Yang could not be reached for comment.
No official announcement of an investigation into him has been made. His name and profile were still accessible on the CBRC website on Sunday.
Caixin reported last Friday that Yang had been relieved of his duties, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
CBRC did not respond to a faxed request for comment on Friday or to a second fax on Sunday about the investigation.
Yang’s last public appearance was on April 7 speaking at a news conference about new risk control guidelines for lenders as part of efforts to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt.
China’s top leaders have pledged this year to address financial risks and asset bubbles.
President Xi Jinping has pledged to wage war on deep seated graft in the ruling Communist party until officials at all levels dare not be corrupt, warning that a failure to check the rot could threaten the party’s existence.
Yang and his wife and son were all placed under investigation due to their suspected involvement in a loan scandal in Hubei, Yang’s home province, Caixin said.
Yang spent most of his career in Hubei and was deputy head of the central bank’s Wuhan city branch in Hubei from 1997 to 2003, according to his official profile.
According to the article, investigations into the scandal have already led to a number of official probes, including into chief risk officer of China’s Bank of Communications, Yang Dongping, who was expelled from the party on Feb. 24.
Yang became assist chairman of the CBRC in 2013.
Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel