China investigates heads of top life insurance companies in anti-corruption campaign | Corruption

The anti-corruption supervisory agency stated that Wang Bin was “suspected of serious violations of discipline and law.”

China’s top anti-corruption regulator conducted an investigation into the chairman of China Life, one of China’s largest insurance companies. China Life is the most senior financial industry executive involved in anti-corruption actions this year.

China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement on Saturday that Wang Bin “is suspected of serious violations of discipline and law and is currently undergoing disciplinary review and investigation,” but did not disclose more details.

As the authorities stepped up their review of the country’s 54 trillion dollar financial system, a nationwide anti-corruption campaign targeting financial institutions and regulators has removed more than 20 officials since it began in October. According to the state media “Securities Times”, Wang is the first senior financial industry official to be hit this year.

According to a statement on Saturday, China Life said it would cooperate with the investigation and support Beijing’s actions to purify the country’s political and financial system. The company said in a document filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Sunday that the company will hold a board meeting in the near future to decide who is the acting chairman.

Citigroup analysts wrote in a report that the news is expected to cast a shadow over the company’s stock price, because investors may be concerned about the insurance company’s corporate governance and leadership changes that may cause business disruption.

However, analysts said that the investigation should have a “controllable impact” on China Life’s operations. China Life is mainly led by other executives because the 64-year-old Wang is about to retire. The target price is 22 Hong Kong dollars. The stock closed at 13.46 Hong Kong dollars on Friday.

Prior to serving as Chairman of China Life Insurance, Mr. Wang worked at China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co., Ltd. and Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. He also worked in the central bank.