China Said to Probe Ex-Central Banker’s Role in Family Finances

Dai Xianglong
Dai Xianglong was People’s Bank of China governor from 1995 to 2002. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

China’s anti-graft agency is investigating if former central bank chief Dai Xianglong used his government posts to enrich his family, said people familiar with the matter.

Dai, who was People’s Bank of China governor from 1995 to 2002, is cooperating with the probe and hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry hasn’t been made public. Investigators are studying whether Dai, 70, used his influence or passed along inside information to the financial benefit of his relatives, the people said.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party agency that’s spearheading President Xi Jinping’s two-year anti-corruption drive, is leading the probe, according to the people.

The decision to investigate Dai’s family stemmed from an investigation into Ma Jian, the deputy minister for state security, the people said. The CCDI said in January that Ma was being probed for “serious law and discipline violations” -- language that denotes graft. Ma hasn’t been reachable and there have been no further announcements about his case since he was stripped of his membership in the national committee of the Chinese legislature’s advisory body in February.

The investigators are looking into Dai’s term as People’s Bank of China governor, which ended in 2002, as well as his subsequent mayorship in Tianjin and his stint as head of the National Council for Social Security Fund. He left that job in 2013, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Dai’s Leadership

Under Dai’s leadership at the PBOC, China escaped mostly unscathed from the 1997 Asian financial crisis and implemented sweeping reforms to make its four big state-owned banks more competitive. The banks were unburdened of billions of dollars in bad loans left over from decades of forced lending to state-owned enterprises, clearing the way for a string of record share offerings in Hong Kong.

The CCDI didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment about the case, and a message sent to Dai’s former e-mail address at the social security fund wasn’t returned. A man who answered the phone at Dai’s old office at the fund said he could no longer be reached at that number and hung up.

— With assistance by Steven Yang, and Keith Zhai

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