China to prosecute former senior banking regulator for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will prosecute a former senior official of its banking regulator for corruption, the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft regulator said on Tuesday (Aug 1), as the country broadens a campaign against wrongdoing in its financial sector.

Yang Jiacai, once assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), was formally sacked in June, after having been put under investigation in May.

The investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection found Yang had abused his position to help others with promotions and help his son's business, besides taking bribes, the commission said in a short statement.

Yang "damaged the political ecology of the financial system and market order and harmed the image of the banking regulator", it added.

His illicit gains will be confiscated and he will be handed over the judicial authorities, it said, meaning that he will be prosecuted.

It was not possible to reach Yang for comment, and not clear if he has been allowed to retain a lawyer.

In a speech this year, China's Premier Li Keqiang warned that authorities would investigate and punish corruption in the financial sector.

In April, China's top insurance regulator was removed from his position for suspected serious disciplinary violations.

Yang, 56, is a native of the central province of Hubei who served for six years at the central bank before moving in 2003 to the banking regulator. Between 2007 and 2012, Yang was its director of bank supervision.

Other senior executives targeted in China's anti-graft crackdown include Wang Yincheng, vice chairman of state-owned People's Insurance Group of China, who was put under investigation for suspected corruption in Feburary.