Leading Tianjin Bank Exec Commits Suicide by Slashing Wrists in Office

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Yin Jinbao (殷金宝), the chairman and party secretary of the Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank, has committed suicide just months following his appointment to the 14th Tianjin Municipal China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

According to local authorities at around 14:00 in the afternoon on 26 May Yin committed suicide by slashing his wrists in his office, with initial on-site investigations ruling out the possibility of homicide.

54 year-old Yin was a native of Hengshui in Hebei province, and a more than three decade veteran of the Tianjin banking sector after first joining the Baochi branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s big four state-owned banks, at the outset of his career.

Yin eventually rose to the position of vice-head and disciplinary commission secretary of the Tianjin branch of ABC, before joining Tianjin Binhai Rural Commercial Bank in 2013.

On 1 November 2017 the Tianjin supervisory department approved Yin’s appointment as the chair of the Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank, and on 12 January 2018 the Tianjin 14th CPPCC approved his acceptance as a member.

During his time at Binhai Rural Commercial Bank, Yin pushed for the lender to take greater part in urbanisation projects, telling media that “while the capital strength of smaller banks is limited, they can still play an extremely important role in major urbanisation projects.”

Speculation has since emerged that Yin’s suicide may be related to the recent travails of Binhai Rural, which Yin left around six months prior to his death.

Binhai Rural is a joint-stock commercial bank headquartered in Tianjin’s Binhai New District, that was founded on 29 December 2017 following the merger of several local rural lenders and credit cooperatives.

Its latest financial reports point to an ailing performance last year. Total assets stood at 158.2 billion yuan as of the end of 2017, for year-on-year growth of 10.21%, while net profits saw negative growth, with return on assets falling to 0.33% from 0.64%.

Operating revenues fell to 2.122 billion yuan from 3.95 billion yuan, while net profits fell to 500 million yuan from 860 million yuan, for declines of 46.34% and 41.78% respectively.

Looking at nonrecurring losses, the bank’s non-business expenditures surged nearly 90-fold, while net profits minus nonrecurring losses still saw a decline of 27.75%.

Interest net income saw a YoY decline of 45.28%, while processing fees and commissions net income declined 15.37% YoY, and investment returns plunged 53.27%.

The non-performing loan ratio of Binhai Rural was over 2%, with industry insiders claiming that the real figure is likely much higher.

In order to relieve liquidity constraints last year, Binhai Rural issued 2 billion yuan in tier II capital bonds and 4 billion yuan in financial bonds.

Some of Binhai Rural’s leading shareholders are also in dire straits.

Its largest shareholder, Tianfang Group (天房集团), has seen  its credit rating downgraded due to debt woes, which has in return triggered advance repayment conditions with respect to trust companies.

Another leading shareholder is Tianjin Airlines, whose actual controller is the much beleaguered HNA Group, which has recently been compelled to sell off its overseas acquisitions due to liquidity concerns.

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