Beijing Expected to Shake up China’s Financial Regulatory System with Appointment of New Central Bank Governor and Party Chief

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The Chinese central government is expected to make key changes to top personnel in the financial regulatory system, with the appointment of both a new governor and party chief for the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) following the conclusion of the Two Sessions congressional meetings in March.

Sources said to the Wall Street Journal that PBOC is set to replace both the governor of PBOC, Yi Gang, and its party secretary, Guo Shuqing, after the Two Sessions congressional meetings close.

In addition to serving as the party secretary for PBOC, Guo Shuqing also holds position of the chair of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

He Lifeng, head of the state planning agency and reportedly a close ally of President Xi Jinping, is expected to replace Guo Shuqing as PBOC’s new party secretary. He is also expected to obtain an appointment to the State Council as Vice Premier, as a replacement for outgoing State Council member and key economics policymaker Liu He.

Zhu Hexin, chair of financial conglomerate Citic Group Corp, is tipped to replace Yi Gang as PBOC governor. 54-year old Zhu is a veteran of the Chinese banking sector, having previously held senior positions at big state-owned lenders Bank of Communications and Bank of China.

He has also previously served as a PBOC vice-president, as well as deputy governor of the inland Chinese province of Sichuan. Zhu graduated with a degree in engineering from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

The appointments arrive amidst expectations that Yi Gang and Guo Shuqing are set to retire, alongside economics czar Liu He and Premier Li Keqiang, following key personnel adjustments made by the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its 20th National Congress held in October last year.

Sources said that the CPC also plans to reinstate the Central Financial Work Commission, a policy body that had operated for a five year period from 1998 to 2003.