Ping An Bank’s Shanghai chief under investigation by China’s corruption watchdog

Yujing Liu

The Shanghai chief of Ping An Bank, controlled by China’s largest insurer by market value Ping An Insurance, is being investigated by anti-corruption authorities, as Beijing continues to crack down on lapses in the financial sector.

Leng Peidong has been required to assist with investigations by the corruption watchdog Central Commission for Discipline Inspection earlier this week, a source familiar with the matter said.

Leng, also assistant to the president of Ping An Bank, is being investigated “for personal reasons”, and the bank will actively cooperate with the authorities in the case, a spokesman for the bank said.

The investigation, first reported by local newspaper Shanghai Securities Times, has prompted worries about deeper woes at the city’s local bank branches.

Leng Peidong, the Shanghai chief of Ping An Bank, is under investigation by the corruption watchdog. Photo: Weibo

Yang Hua, predecessor of Leng, is also under investigation, according to the report. It is unclear what the investigation is about.

The focus of the case may not be the bank itself, and investigations also involve personnel from other banks, the source said, declining to reveal details.

Ping An Bank’s Shenzhen-listed shares fell by as much as 1.4 per cent in afternoon trading on the heels of the news, before closing 0.5 per cent lower at 16.7 yuan.

Financials declined broadly. A gauge tracking 29 China-listed bank stocks fell 0.4 per cent against a flat broader market, according to finance data provider Jrj.com.

China’s top leadership has vowed repeatedly to clean up corruption in the financial industry in recent years. President Xi Jinping stressed the importance to educate and discipline senior executives of financial institutions in a Politburo meeting in February.

A banking veteran, Leng was formerly the president of Ping An Trust before taking up his current post in 2016. He first joined Ping An Bank 2007 and rose through the ranks.

A slew of bank and financial companies’ executives have been rounded up as part of the anti-corruption campaign this year. Most recently, Pan Zhongyu, chief executive of state-owned Jilin Investment Group, was taken for investigation on Monday on suspicion of violating regulations.

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