(Yicai Global) March 13 -- The National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, has reappointed Yi Gang as governor of the People’s Bank of China for another five-year term, keeping him at the helm of the central bank as the country embarks on an overhaul of its financial regulatory system.
Yi, 65, has worked at the PBOC for more than 25 years. In 2007, he was named deputy governor and was promoted to governor in 2018 after Zhou Xiaochuan’s tenure ended. From 2009 to 2015, he also served as the director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
His reappointment as PBOC chief will help maintain stability and the continuity of monetary policy and ensure that financial support to China’s real economy is not weakened, an analyst told Yicai Global, adding that Yi will help implement the planned reforms to China’s financial regulatory system.
China will set up a new national financial regulator to supervise the industry except for securities, according to a plan the NPC approved on March 10. Once the plan is implemented, the PBOC will transfer its roles of supervising financial holding companies and protecting financial customer rights and interests to the new authority and focus more on monetary policy and macroprudential supervision responsibilities.
During Yi’s tenure as governor, China has implemented a prudent monetary policy, with reserve requirement ratio and open market operation adjustments. After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country did not adopt aggressive easing measures but maintained an independent monetary policy.
Yi also worked to promote interest rate marketization. Under his leadership, the PBOC introduced a new loan prime rate formation mechanism in August 2019 and used the LPR as the benchmark interest rate for personal housing loans issued by financial institutions.
Yi graduated from Peking University, then studied at Hamline University and the University of Illinois, where he gained a PhD in economics. Afterward, he was a teaching assistant and associate professor at Indiana University’s economics department. Yi later returned to China and co-founded the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Futura Costaglione