BEIJING (AP) " A state news agency says China's former chief insurance regulator has pleaded guilty to taking bribes over 12 years in exchange for helping people obtain loans, promotions and other favors.

The Xinhua News Agency said Xiang Junbo, the highest-ranking figure in Chinese finance to be ensnared in a marathon anti-graft crackdown, "pleaded guilty and expressed repentance" during his trial in the eastern city of Changzhou.

Xiang is charged with taking 19.4 million yuan ($3 million) in bribes while at the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and in his former posts as chairman of a state-owned bank and at the central bank from 2005 to 2017.