The People's National Congress just approved merging China's banking and insurance regulatory agencies into the new China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). It will be led by Guo Shuqing, former head of the banking regulatory commission. To the surprise of many, Guo was also appointed the central bank's party secretary. Former PBoC governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who retired this month, held both the governor and party secretary posts, so the new appointment aroused discussion about the extent of the authority of new governor Yi Gang. Guo is a member of the CPC's 205-member central committee; Yi is not.
The PBoC signals that governor Yi will manage "all aspects of work at the central bank" and that Yi and Guo will deputize each other for the governor and party secretary posts. Otherwise governor Yi is expected to focus on monetary policy, while party secretary Guo monitors administrative and strategic issues.