China’s Banking Regulator At a Loss to Explain Absence of Senior Official

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The conspicuous absence of one of the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s top officials has raised eyebrows in the Chinese press, given the recent ousting of senior members of the insurance regulator.

56 year-old Hubei-native Yang Jiacai is a three decade veteran of China’s regulatory sector, and for nearly the past four years has held the position of assistant chairperson with CBRC.

Yang was a familiar face within Chinese business news circles, as he was responsible for fielding inquiries from the press on trust and finance companies, and was on first name terms with many reporters.

Caixin Media reports that Yang has not participated in his official duties since Monday, nor has he been available for contact or comment.

CBRC has issued a series of inconsistent reasons for his absence, ranging from handling of official affairs and participation in work with the central government, to leave taken for study purposes.

Yang’s official duties, which include personnel management and non-banking institutions, have since been transferred to fellow assistant chairman and close colleague Cao Yu.

Given recent high-profile investigations into leading members of China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission, the inconsistent explanations for Yang’s sudden absence have triggered suspicions that the veteran official has fallen foul of the authorities.

Sources close to Yang told Caixin Media that while he was known for ability and gumption, he had also incurred the ire of a number of people in official circles.

“He would basically undertake any difficult matters within the commission, charging to the front.”

 

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