April 19, 2017 / 4:27 AM / 2 years ago

Minsheng Bank says branch chief suspected of illegal conduct

HONG KONG, April 19 (Reuters) - China Minsheng Banking Corp said it has notified police that the head of one of its branches is suspected of illegal conduct - a statement which follows local media reports of missing money from wealth management products.

Police are investigating Zhang Ying, president of the Hangtianqiao branch in Beijing, Minsheng said in a stock exchange filing late on Tuesday.

Business magazine Yicai, citing unidentified sources, said on Tuesday that Zhang was being investigated in connection with 3 billion yuan ($435 million) missing from Minsheng’s wealth management products.

Aggressive expansion by mid-sized Chinese banks, particularly into wealth management, and whether sufficient compliance standards are being used has been an area of concern for investors.

Minsheng said it has set up a working group to assist police, adding that “the amount involved as reported by media” was still being investigated. It did not give Zhang’s whereabouts.

A spokesman for the lender declined to comment or provide contact details for Zhang.

$1 = 6.8811 Chinese yuan Reporting by Elzio Barreto in Hong Kong and Matthew Miller in Beijing; Writing by Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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