July 11 2016
The Bank of East Asia is facing questions over the robustness of its anti-money laundering procedures in mainland China following bank transactions leaked by the media on the weekend that purport to show the Hong Kong-based lender may have been used as a conduit to disburse large sums of money to senior executives at Shandong-based Evergrowing Bank.
At the centre of the allegations reported in mainland media is a group of senior executives at the Yantai city government-controlled Evergrowing Bank who may have obtained some 70 million yuan (HK$81 million) worth of funds through BEA corporate creditcards. It is unclear who provided the executives with the money, but they are led by Evergrowing chairman Cai Guohua, a former deputy mayor of Yantai city who had authority to oversee local state assets until 2013. The executives were alleged to have obtained BEA-issued corporate cards which were used to obtain a large sum of money that exceeded the maximum cap allowed on state bank employees’ salaries many times over.