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China names foreign exchange veteran as PBOC Deputy governor

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
China names foreign exchange veteran as PBOC Deputy governor
Lu Lei, 53, replaces Liu Guoqiang, who has been a deputy governor of PBOC since 2018. Photo: Bloomberg
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China’s State Council appointed Lu Lei deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, the third new senior official at the central bank since July and the second this month. 

Lu, 53, replaces Liu Guoqiang, who has been a deputy governor of PBOC since 2018, according to a statement from Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Liu turned 60 in June, reaching the general retirement age for Chinese officials at the vice-ministerial level.

Lu’s appointment as one of the PBOC’s four deputy governors followed an illustrious career spanning the central bank, academia and a commercial bank.

He overlapped with respected former PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan in the 1990s when he first joined the central bank as a researcher. Then he had an almost three-year stint at China Merchants Bank Co. and spent eight years at the Guangdong University of Finance in the wealthy southern province.

Lu returned to the PBOC in 2014, when Zhou was its governor, first as the head of its research bureau and then the director of its financial stability bureau. He became a deputy administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in 2017.

He holds a PhD in economics from the Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China, and studied and conducted research in Australia from 1999 to 2000.

See also: China earnings pain erodes optimism over stock market rebound

Earlier this month, veteran banker Zhu Hexin was named as head of SAFE as well as a deputy governor of the PBOC. Zhu was seen as a contender to be governor of the PBOC before Pan Gongsheng — who was head of SAFE from 2016 — filled the position in July after Yi Gang reached retirement age.

Lu’s appointment was one of several new official positions announced in the same statement on Tuesday. Fu Wanjun was appointed as deputy head of National Administration of Financial Regulation and Liu Sushe was named a vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, according to the statement.

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