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China Summons Top Reformer to Tackle Banking Woes
World Economy

China Summons Top Reformer to Tackle Banking Woes

Guo Shuqing, who is stepping down as governor of Shandong province to take control of China's banking regulator, returns to Beijing at a decisive moment for the country's financial system following years of breakneck economic growth.
The immediate challenge for the new chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission is formidable—Guo must vigorously address troubled lending in the country's 232 trillion yuan ($34 trillion) banking sector and implement tougher measures to control lightly regulated shadow banking activities, Reuters reported.
For Guo, highly regarded as one of China's most experienced financial services professionals, returning to Beijing follows an accomplished career including appointments as chairman of China Construction Bank Corp, the head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and most recently as a provincial governor. Guo is considered by many as a passionate reformist, drawing up more than 70 new policies during his 18 months as chief stock market regulator from 2011 to 2013.
He tried to revive a stagnant stock market, boosting participation by foreign investors while campaigning against widespread insider trading, poor information disclosure and weak corporate governance.
He also advocated reform of the initial public offerings system and promoted the delisting of loss-making firms.
"Guo's appointment to CBRC brings him back to his area of core expertise: banking," said James Stent, a former independent director at two Chinese banks and author of China's Banking Transformation.
"CBRC is a big, complicated organization. You have to be a competent manager. Guo Shuqing has proven in spades he's capable of doing the job."

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