Top Chinese banks name new heads

China Construction Bank (CCB) and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), two of the biggest lenders in the country, have named new heads after their former chairmen moved to the country’s financial regulators.

CCB and ABC have appointed Wang Hongzhang and Jiang Chaoliang, respectively, as their Communist Party secretaries and the two are likely to become chairmen of the two banks as well, sources said. Party bosses, who hold the most senior position in China’s state-owned banks, also typically fill the role of chairman.

Both appointments are waiting for final approval from the State Council and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the controlling shareholder of all state-owned firms. The Communist Party Central Committee’s Organisation Department, which oversees the nation's senior reshuffles, will officially announce the appointments next week.

China is in the midst of a senior leadership reshuffle, which is seen by many as paving the way for further changes among top political leaders next year.

Wang Hongzhang, CCB's new party boss

From 2003, Wang held the post of chief disciplinary officer at People’s Bank of China (PBoC). Before that, he was the president of PBoC’s Sichuan branch. Wang has also held various senior positions at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China’s biggest bank.

Jiang was most recently the president of China Development Bank (CBD), one of the country’s policy lenders. Before joining CBD, he was chairman of Bank of Communications (BoCom).

In 2004, after a two-year stint as the deputy governor of Hubei province, Jiang was appointed to chair the board of BoCom as part of Beijing’s effort to reorganise the lender and prepare it for listing.

During Jiang’s tenure, BoCom introduced HSBC as a strategic foreign investor and the bank became the first major commercial bank from the mainland to list in Hong Kong when it completed a $1.9 billion IPO in 2005.

Jiang is not new to ABC. He worked at the bank for around 10 years in the 1980s after graduating from university.

Guo Shuqing and Xiang Junbo, Wang and Jiang’s predecessors respectively, moved to top jobs at two of China’s main financial regulatory agencies early this month. Guo took over from Shang Fulin as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission after Shang was named as the chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission. Xiang replaced Wu Dingfu to head the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. The government didn’t say whether Wu was retiring.

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