The People's Bank of China (PBC or PBOC, Chinese: 中国人民银行) is the central bank of the People's Republic of China with the power to control monetary policy and regulate financial institutions in mainland China. The People's Bank of China has more financial assets than any single public institution, and is second only to the Federal Reserve System of the United States in terms of overall central bank assets.
The bank was established on December 1, 1948, based on the consolidation of the Huabei Bank, the Beihai Bank and the Xibei Farmer Bank. The headquarters was first located in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, and then moved to Beijing in 1949. Between 1950 and 1978 the PBC was the only bank in the People's Republic of China and was responsible for both central banking and commercial banking operations. All other banks within Mainland China such as the Bank of China were either organized as divisions of the PBC or were non-deposit taking agencies.
In the 1980s, as part of economic reform, the commercial banking functions of the PBC were split off into four independent but state-owned banks and in 1983, the State Council promulgated that the PBC would function as the central bank of China. Mr. Chen Yuan was instrumental in modernizing the bank in the early 1990s. Its central bank status was legally confirmed on March 18, 1995 by the 3rd Plenum of the 8th National People's Congress. In 1998, the PBC underwent a major restructuring. All provincial and local branches were abolished, and the PBC opened nine regional branches, whose boundaries did not correspond to local administrative boundaries. In 2003, the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress approved an amendment law for strengthening the role of PBC in the making and implementation of monetary policy for safeguarding the overall financial stability and provision of financial services.
The People's Bank of China (PBC) is the largest central bank at US$3.201 trillion.
The PBC adopts a governor responsibility system under which the governor supervises the overall work of the PBC while the deputy governors provide assistance to the governor to fulfill his or her responsibility.
It has 6 overseas representative offices (PBC Representative Office for America, PBC Representative Office (London) for Europe, PBC Tokyo Representative Office, PBC Frankfurt Representative Office, PBC Representative Office for Africa, Liaison Office of the PBC in the Caribbean Development Bank).
The PBC consists of 18 functional departments (bureaus) as below:
General Administration Department
Legal Affairs Department
Monetary Policy Department
Financial Market Department
Financial Stability Bureau
Financial Survey and Statistics Department
Accounting and Treasury Department
Payment System Department
Currency, Gold and Silver Bureau
State Treasury Bureau
Internal Auditing Department
Credit Information System Bureau
Anti-Money Laundering Bureau (Security Bureau)
Education Department of the CPC PBC Committee
The following enterprises and institutions are directly under the PBC:
China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center
Previously, interest rates set by the bank were always divisible by nine, instead of by 25 as in the rest of the world. However, this is no longer applied since the central bank started changing rates by 0.25 percentage points on October 19, 2010 (which was a rate increase).
The most recent action was announced on July 5, 2012, cutting benchmark 1-year lending rates by 25 basis points to 6.00% while the 1-year deposit rate was also reduced by 25 basis points to 3.00%.