July 24, 2017 / 6:52 PM / 2 years ago

INTERVIEW-China's HNA CEO denies banks scaling back credit

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - HNA Group CEO Adam Tan has pushed back against media reports that the Chinese aviation-to-financial services conglomerate faces mounting pressure from its bankers and regulators, even as the pace of its acquisitions slows.

Tan told Reuters in an interview on Monday that HNA maintains a strong working relationship with its main Wall Street banks, which include JPMorgan, UBS and Morgan Stanley, and reports that some were scaling back credit to the group were not true.

“I think we are operating our company legally, we have nothing to hide, and we are fine,” Tan said. “I talk to my Chinese authorities, I think they are happy. Life goes on.”

The only bank that has stopped working with HNA is Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Tan said, adding the bank had not dealt closely with HNA to begin with.

Tan characterized as “routine” a loan check by banks ordered last month by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), adding this was not a major hindrance to the group’s business, given it had already been subject to regular scrutiny the CBRC.

“I’ve been reviewed by them (the CBRC) for more than 10 years,” Tan said, adding that it was just one of many regulators the company dealt with.

China’s banking regulator ordered a group of lenders to assess their exposure to offshore acquisitions by a handful of companies that have been on an overseas buying spree.

“They are helping us. I am happy, I am getting used to it,” Tan added.

Reporting by Matthew Miller and Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

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