An official investigation of China Everbright Bank has found widespread irregularities, South China Morning Post said. In the first such investigation since China adopted its Accounting Law, the Ministry of Finance sent more than 400 inspectors to 30 branches of the bank in August last year. The investigation was completed in November but the findings were not made public until July this year. The inspectors found accounting irregularities and evidence of improper loans. They also uncovered non-payment of Yn485m in taxes, of which the bank has now paid Yn357m.
Bank officials said that the listing of the bank, planned for 2003, had been postponed indefinitely as a result of the investigation, the Financial Times reported. The former head of the bank, and ex-chairman of parent China Everbright Group, Zhu Xiaohua, disappeared from view in 1999 for an investigation by the Communist Party's disciplinary committee. In August he was ejected from the Communist Party and, in the words of Xinhua, faced prosecution for 'absolutely vile' financial crimes.