Bank of East Asia executive detained in Beijing

A senior Bank of East Asia executive has reportedly been arrested in Beijing over an investigation related to alleged bank loans and bribes.

Chen Zhirendeputy chairman of the BEA (China), was detained in Beijing, according to a report by the Chinese press cabinet “Cailian» (Mandarin only). Chen was arrested in connection with an investigation related to bank loans and suspicions of accepting bribes.

In response, a statement from the BEA said the matter “relates only to the personal actions of an individual employee”, adding that the bank has “rigorous internal control mechanisms and protocols in place”.

“This case has no impact on BEA China’s lending business and does not involve East Asia Qianhai Securities,” he said.

Financial repression

Since last year, Beijing has cracked down on corruption in the financial sector with more than 40 officials and executives from banks and regulators questioned or disciplined. The most notable example is that of the former chairman of Huarong Asset Management Lai Xiaomin who was sentenced to death in January last year on multiple corruption-related charges, including accepting 1.79 billion yuan ($260 million) in bribes.

Hong Kong-based BEA had 3,000 employees in mainland China at the end of June, with outlets in around 40 cities.

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