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China graft watchdog raps financial regulators

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China's main ruling Communist Party anti-graft watchdog has criticised four financial regulators after its latest inspection, saying they had problems ranging from using public funds for holidays to lack of corruption risk controls.

[BEIJING] China's main ruling Communist Party anti-graft watchdog has criticised four financial regulators after its latest inspection, saying they had problems ranging from using public funds for holidays to lack of corruption risk controls.

The four - the People's Bank of China (PBOC), State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission - all said they took the issue seriously and vowed to follow party rules on fighting corruption.

In separate statements released late on Thursday, the Central Commission for Discipline listed a series of problems it had found at each of the regulators.

At the foreign exchange administration, it said some officials ignored discipline rules, that there were problems with promotions being "not standard enough" and weak law-enforcement oversight.

At the PBOC, the central bank, public funds were spent on gifts, while at the banking regulator public funds were spend on holidays, the watchdog said.

For the stock markets regulator, there was only lip service paid by some to anti-graft rules and insufficient oversight over certain "sensitive" posts, though it did not say which. "There exist hidden dangers for breeding corruption," the statement added.

Stock market regulatory chief Xiao Gang was quoted as saying they would strictly abide by President Xi Jinping's instructions on fighting corruption and make changes as suggested.

Central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted as saying his team completely agreed with the watchdog's findings and"sincerely accepted them".

Mr Xi has launched a sweeping crackdown on deep-rooted graft since taking over the party's leadership in late 2012 and the presidency in 2013. Dozens of senior officials have been investigated or jailed.

Graft investigators have fanned out across the country looking for abuses, including in government departments and ministries in Beijing.

China's financial regulators have been under heavy pressure since stock markets collapsed in mid-June last year following a long bull run, though the statements made no mention of the markets.

REUTERS