|Citic Securities chief fined for blasting ICBC: report
A Chinese brokerage has fined its chairman two months pay -- nearly one million yuan -- after he publicly blasted the nation's largest bank ICBC over its profits, state media reported Wednesday.
The penalty will be levied on Citic Securities' Wang Dongming, the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper said, basing its estimate on Wang's 2013 salary of 5.83 million yuan.
China's "Big Four'' banks, which include ICBC, have long been criticized for high charges, poor service and their reluctance to lend to private firms.
Speaking at a forum in Beijing on Saturday, Wang referred to a conversation he had with Yang Kaisheng, former president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
He said: "I told ICBC's governor Yang the other day that if ICBC reports between 200 billion yuan and 300 billion yuan of annual post-tax profits, you'll be condemned by people across the country.
"How can a services institution make so much money and to whom did the money go?'' he said, according to a transcript posted online.
ICBC in March reported a net profit of 262.97 billion yuan for 2013.
The penalty was revealed in an internal memo by Citic Securities, China's largest brokerage by market value, which said state media had misinterpreted Wang's remarks, souring the firm's relationship with ICBC and hurting the giant bank's image.
"The disclosure of this incident is a warning that everyone should exercise caution when making comments publicly and do no harm to the interests and feelings of our clients,'' Citic Securities said in the memo, which was quoted by state media.
Wang's remarks allegedly prompted ICBC to drop the brokerage as its underwriter for a planned sale of preferred shares, according to the reports. --AFP