People's Bank of China to appoint new head as Zhou Xiaochuan expected to step down after record 15 years
A new leader is to be appointed to China’s central bank (the People’s Bank of China) for the first time in 15 years.
The current president, Zhou Xiaochuan is expected to retire soon as the longest-serving leader not only in China but of the entire G-20.
At 69, Zhou has worked under three different presidents of China.
The two frontrunners set to take over the role are Guo Shuqing and Jiang Chaoliang.
Guo currently heads the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Prior to this he led the securities regulatory board and was chairman of China Construction Bank. Guo speaks fluent English and is fairly well-known internationally.
Jiang is Communist Party secretary of Hubei province and has been in the role since October. Prior to this he was chairman of China’s Bank of Communications and the Agricultural Bank of China as well as being head of China Development Bank. Jiang dealt with China’s biggest ever bankruptcy - that of Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corporation - in 1999.
China’s central bank holds less autonomy than its western counterparts, with all decisions being signed off by the Chinese State Council.
However, in Zhou’s time as leader he has often been seen as radical, overseeing the rise of the yuan as a more internationally-accepted reserve currency and helping market forces pay a greater role in its value.