Detained banker steps down from ABC

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 July, 2012, 12:00am


Mainland banker Yang Kun has resigned as an executive director of Agricultural Bank of China after more than a month being detained in Beijing amid a widening probe into allegations of illegal gambling and misappropriation of clients' money.

ABC told the stock exchange last night: 'Yang Kun is unable to perform his duties due to personal circumstances and has tendered his resignation as executive director and executive vice-president of the bank' from yesterday, and had also stepped down from all committee offices at the lender.

While the bank's statement said Yang 'has no disagreement with the board and does not have any matters in relation to his resignation that should be brought to the attention of the shareholders or creditors of the bank', the mainland state-owned lender also referred to its announcement in late May that said Yang was 'currently assisting relevant mainland authorities in connection with certain investigations'.

Sources told The South China Morning Post that Yang had been detained by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the party's internal anti-corruption arm that reports to the top leadership, after the commission received complaints about alleged illegal gambling activities in Macau. Further investigation allegedly linked Yang to gamblingrelated activities, including the misuse of money in a bank client's account, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified.

If Yang is proved to have been involved in illegal activities, it would mark the highest-profile case involving a 'big four' banker since state-owned banks started to go public in 2005. The probe has raised concerns that it could widen to implicate others, including bank clients.

Another source said Yang was in Macau with business friends several times and the group had lost money during at least one gambling trip there. The source said Yang and his friends owed large sums to the casinos, and complaints about the matter had come to the attention of the party's anti-graft commission.