Guo Shuqing, the incumbent head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has been chosen to serve in the new role of Communist Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China according to sources who spoke to the New York Times.
The New York Times reports that Guo Shuqing will be appointed to the newly created position of Communist Party secretary of PBOC, which means that leadership of the Chinese central bank will now effectively be split between Guo and recently appointed governor Yi Gang.
The news arrives just after Yi Gang, deputy governor of PBOC, was appointed as governor of the Chinese central bank to succeed Zhou Xiaochuan, and Guo was appointed head of the new banking and insurance authority that will be created by the merger of the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Guo Shuqing assumed the office of CBRC head in February last year, before launching a “regulatory windstorm” the following month as part of broader efforts by Beijing to rein in China’s systemic financial risk and deleverage the economy.
Guo’s reformist credentials made him one of the top contenders to assume the role of PBOC governor following the retirement of Zhou Xiaochuan, who has held the position for more than 15 years.
While both Guo and Yi can spruik strong credentials as reform-minded financial regulators, sources who spokes to The New York Times said Guo enjoys stronger political connections.
Guo’s appointment to the position of PBOC party secretary will make him one of the most influential figures within China’s financial regulatory system.
He is expected to occupy a role within the Chinese central bank akin to that of a corporate chairman, with Yi Gang serving as its chief executive.
While Yi is expected to travel extensively in the role of central bank governor, Guo will be based primarily in Beijing where he can remain plugged into the continuous debate over financial and economic policies.
Both Guo and Yi will be overseen in the performance of their duties by politburo member and vice premier for financial industrial policy Liu He, who is one of President Xi Jinping most trusted economic advisors.
Experts say the new appointments are a sign of the Chinese central government’s determination to address any weaknesses or defects in the country’s financial system, as well as ensure that experienced technocrats occupy senior positions in the political system.