The latest round of personnel changes at major State-owned commercial lenders reflects the nation's emphasis on the implementation of macroeconomic regulation, and will probably not affect the operating strategies of the banks involved, said analysts.
On Tuesday, China Construction Bank Corp (CCB), the world's second-largest bank by market value, announced the nomination of a new executive chairman, Wang Hongzhang, former head of the commission for discipline inspection at the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (ABC) announced that Jiang Chaoliang, president of the China Development Bank, will be its new Party secretary, a position that usually doubles with that of chairman.
"Wang and Jiang both have extensive experience working in various positions at commercial banks," said Guo Tianyong, director of the China Banking Research Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics.
"In addition, like their predecessors, they came through the central bank system."
Guo said the appointments indicate that the State is determined to appoint people with experience of macroeconomic policy management when selecting the heads of major State-owned commercial lenders.
"As banks play a very important role in implementing the government's macroeconomic policies, the decision makers expect not only bankers, but candidates with a deep understanding of macroeconomic regulation, to fill the positions."
Wang, a 57-year-old certified accountant, joined the central bank after receiving a master's degree in economics from Liaoning Institute of Finance and Economics in 1978.
Between March 1984 and February 1991, he worked at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the country's biggest lender. He was employed in a number of positions, including deputy director of the general administration office, deputy director of the finance planning department and general manager of the operations office.
Jiang, 54, holds a master's degree in economics from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. He worked at ABC for 15 years, starting in August 1981.
In 1996, he joined the PBOC and became assistant to the governor in 2000. In 2002, he started work as deputy governor of Hubei province, before serving as board chairman at Bank of Communications Co Ltd from June 2004 to September 2008. That was a key period for the nation's fifth-biggest lender, as it was entangled with bad loans while undergoing a transformation into a dual-listed company.
These are the latest in a series of changes of personnel within the banking system. Guo Shuqing, the former chairman of CCB, was appointed chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission in late October, while Xiang Junbo, former chairman of ABC, was also promoted, becoming the country's top insurance industry regulator.
In the previous round of personnel changes, three of the chairmen of the four major State-owned lenders had worked as deputy governors of the PBOC.
The top executives of commercial banks, senior officials at the central bank and those at the China Banking Regulatory Commission are all expected to change extensively before the autumn of 2012, when the country will elect a new generation of leaders.
"The unified appointment mechanism will not benefit the development of State-owned commercial banks in the long run, because usually that results in the banks' products and operations becoming increasingly similar," said Lu Lei, an economist at Guangdong University of Finance.
Meanwhile, Guo Tianyong said that the new chairmen will have limited scope for operation, given that the major State-owned lenders have already listed on the markets and have established stable corporate governance structures.