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China toughens supervision in battle against financial risk

Updated: Apr 21,2018 9:00 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is toughening supervision on the banking and insurance sector with solid progress made in the first quarter of the year, according to China’s top banking and insurance regulator.

“All forms of violations have been seriously inhibited to forestall systemic financial risks,” the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in an online statement on April 20.

Banking and insurance institutions received 646 penalties in the first three months during a campaign against violations including defective corporate governance and breaches of macro-regulation policies, it said.

They were handed fines and confiscation orders worth about 1.1 billion yuan ($184 million), and another 798 penalties were imposed on individuals with fines worth 28.6 million yuan, the CBIRC said.

Major risks have been dealt with promptly, and prominent cases in the financial sector have been investigated and punished strictly, including the official takeover of Anbang Insurance, the CBIRC said.

Information disclosure on these cases sent timely warning signals to the whole industry, as regulators maintain a tough stance and long-term deterrence on violations of laws and regulations, it said.

Tougher supervision and punishment have led to significant strengthening of risk and compliance awareness in the banking and insurance institutions, and brought much better order to the market, the regulator said.

“The trend of highly-frequent occurrence of violations has been further deterred,” it added.

China will also shore up points of institutional weakness and address financial violations at the root, CBIRC said.

Prevention of financial risk is key for China in what policymakers called the “three tough battles,” namely controlling risks, reducing poverty, and tackling pollution.

China announced a merger of the banking and insurance regulators in March in an effort to step up scrutiny. The newly merged regulator was officially unveiled on April 8.