China Construction Bank Corp. is set to appoint Wang Zuji, vice chairman of the nation’s insurance regulator, as president after Zhang Jianguo retires, people familiar with the matter said.
The management changes may be announced as soon as Tuesday, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
Wang’s impending departure may trigger a round of management changes at the nation’s biggest banks and financial watchdogs. Wang is a Communist Party appointee to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and has been its vice chairman since 2012. He was previously deputy governor of Jilin province, according to the CIRC’s website.
Zhang, 60, has led Construction Bank since 2006, during which the lender became the world’s second largest by assets and reported average annual profit growth of more than 20 percent. Shares of Construction Bank gained 0.5 percent to close at HK$7.59 in Hong Kong on Monday, extending this year’s gain to 19 percent.
A Beijing-based press officer at Construction Bank said the bank has no comment ahead of an official announcement. The CIRC’s press office didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
The last management reshuffle in the nation’s financial industry was in 2013 when China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing became governor of Shandong province. He was replaced by former Bank of China Ltd. Chairman Xiao Gang, whose post was taken by Citic Group’s Tian Guoli.
Zhang will join at least 10 senior managers at China’s listed banks who have departed this year for different reasons. Chinese lenders risk losing managers just as they grapple with interest-rate deregulation, an explosion in shadow banking and rising levels of soured credit. Nonperforming loans have been swelling for more than three years, reaching 842.6 billion yuan ($136 billion) as of Dec. 31, the highest since 2008.
Chim Wai Kin, Bank of China’s former chief credit officer, left his job amid pay cuts imposed on senior managers at Chinese lenders, people with knowledge of the matter said in March.
The government slashed senior managers’ total compensation for this year at the nation’s five largest lenders -- all of which are state controlled -- to no more than about 600,000 yuan. The new limits apply to chairmen, presidents, heads of supervisory boards and vice presidents at the largest banks, people familiar with the matter said in March.
— With assistance by Jun Luo, and Heng Xie