China’s anti-corruption body found “major problems” in the country’s financial systems, local media reported Friday. Taking bribes, spending public money on overseas travel and using official data for personal gain were some of the common malpractices documented by the Communist Party corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
The two-month review criticized four financial regulators — the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission — for misusing public funds.
The review noted that officials from PBoC, China’s central bank, had spent public money on extravagant gifts, while at the banking regulator, funds were spent on holidays. The watchdog also reportedly found that some job promotions at the foreign exchange regulator were “not standard enough.”
The recent inspections, which covered various government entities, were the latest salvo in Chinese President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption crackdown that started in 2013.
According to local media, all the heads of CCDI’s various inspection teams said the disciplinary violations were caused due to the Communist Party loosening its grip, and that “the sector needed to better adhere to the central authorities.”
The CCDI report also outlined details of wrongdoing at the National Statistics Bureau and said its officials were using data for personal gain. The accusations came a week after the statistics agency’s director, Wang Baoan, was put under investigation for "severe disciplinary violations."
The inspectors criticized some government-run entities for focusing more on business than on the Communist Party. Officials of Chinese financial conglomerate, Citic Group, were accused of “talking about business too much while seldom talking about the Party” and “spending too much time playing golf.”
All the government organizations named in the documents reportedly said they took the issue seriously and vowed to follow party rules on fighting corruption.
Under heavy pressure to curb harmful market practices since the country’s stock markets collapsed in mid-June last year, CCDI said some senior financial regulators and state bankers named in Thursday’s report could face investigations.