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Morning Coffee: Stressed staff flee the toughest job in Asian finance

Staff leave CSRC

Time to exit

Fretting about your bonus? Worried that you’re about to be axed as banks cut back in Asia? Your troubles are probably not as large as those of employees at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the watchdog shouldering much of the blame for China’s recent financial turmoil.

Xiao Gang, the chairman of the CSRC who has now offered to resign his own post, has told a conference that his officials are under a lot of pressure and that many of them have quit their jobs as a result, reports the South China Morning Post. The departures include some of the regulator’s best staff, who have been lured to better paying jobs, according to the SCMP.

Given the enormous amount of criticism that the CSRC has received from the Chinese government, media and public over the past few months – most recently over its ill-fated circuit breaker mechanism – it is no wonder many employees are exiting. As in other markets, banks in China can generally offer regulatory staff more money – and in the case of former CSRC people, also offer them less stressful jobs.

An exodus from the CSRC could have broader consequences. Li Jiange, a former senior regulator, said the CSRC “is having a crisis of talent” that will create further stock market calamities if it’s not resolved.

Some of those who’ve left the regulator have fallen foul of China’s corruption crackdown. “Many people who have recently been brought under investigation used to work for me,” said Li, who was the vice-chairman of the CSRC 15 years ago. “They were not bad people at the time. On the contrary, they were very capable and very hard working.”


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Image credit: Junede, iStock, Thinkstock

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