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State capitalism and social responsibility in China's banking industry

Yang, J. and Kakabadse, N. (2011) State capitalism and social responsibility in China's banking industry. In: EABIS 10th Annual Colloquium, Wednesday 26 October 2011 - Friday 28 October 2011, Fontainebleau, France.

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Abstract/Summary

China’s financial system has experienced a series of major reforms in recent years. Efforts have been made towards introducing the shareholding system in state-owned commercial banks, restructuring of securities firms, re-organising equity of joint venture insurance companies, further improving the corporate governance structure, managing financial risks and ultimately establishing a system to protect investors (Xinhua, 2010). Financial product innovation, with the further opening up of financial markets and the development of the insurance and bond market, has increased liquidity as well as reduced financial risks. The U.S. subprime crisis indicated the benefit of financial innovations for the economy, but without proper control, they may lead to unexpected consequences. Kirkpatrick (2009) argues that failures and weaknesses in corporate governance arrangements and insufficient accounting standards and regulatory requirements attributed to the financial crisis. Similar to the financial crises of the last decade, the global financial crisis which sparked in 2008, surfaced a variety of significant corporate governance failures: the dysfunction of market mechanisms, the lack of transparency and accountability, misaligned compensation arrangements and the late response of government, all which encouraged management short-termism, poor risk management, as well as some fraudulent schemes. The unique characteristics of the Chinese banking system are an interesting point for studying post-crisis corporate governance reform. Considering that China modelled its governance system on the Anglo-American system, this paper examines the impact of the financial crisis on corporate governance reform in developed economies, and particularly, China’s reform of its financial sector. The paper further analyses the Chinese government’s role in bank supervision and risk management. In this regard, the paper contributes to the corporate governance literature within the Chinese context by providing insights into the contributing factors to the corporate governance failure that led to the global financial crisis. It also provides policy recommendations for China’s policy makers to seriously consider. The results suggest a need for the re-examination of corporate governance adequacy and the institutionalisation of business ethics. The paper’s next section provides a review of China’s financial system with reference to the financial crisis, followed by a critical evaluation of a capitalistic system and a review of Anglo-American and Continental European models. It then analyses the need for a new corporate governance model in China by considering the bank failures in developed economies and the potential risks and inefficiencies in a current State controlled system. The paper closes by reflecting the need for Chinese policy makers to continually develop, adapt and rewrite corporate governance practices capable of meeting the new challenge, and to pay attention to business ethics, an issue which goes beyond regulation.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:38113

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