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A Brief Timeline of the People's Bank of China

December 1, 2003

A Brief Timeline of the People's Bank of China

Dec. 1, 1948

The PBOC is established by the newly formed People's Republic of China through a consolidation of the former Huabei Bank, the Beihai Bank and the Xibei Peasant Bank.

1966 to 1976

During the Cultural Revolution, the PBOC is stripped of many of its functions.


The PBOC regains sole responsibility for issuing currency and controlling money supply. With the December 1978 launch of economic reforms, the banking system expands and several large state-owned commercial banks are established under the PBOC.

September 1983

The State Council, China's ultimate decision-making body, formally designates the PBOC as the nation's central bank. Located in Beijing, the head office has 13 functional and five supporting departments.

March 1995

The PBOC's status as central bank is legally confirmed by the "The Law of the People's Republic of China on the People's Bank of China."


The PBOC resists calls to devaluate the renminbi in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. Oversight of insurance and securities industries is split off from the PBOC to new regulatory agencies.

January 1999

The PBOC abolishes provincial and municipal branches and creates nine regional banks each responsible for several provinces.

December 2001

China becomes a member of the World Trade Organization and agrees to allow foreign banks to conduct local-currency business without restrictions by 2007.

December 2002

Zhou Xiaochuan is appointed governor of the PBOC. An economist, Zhou won praise for his tough leadership of China's Securities Regulatory Commission from 2000 to 2002 and his calm handling of foreign exchange policy during the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

April 2003

The China Banking Regulatory Commission is created to oversee reform and regulation of the banking sector, allowing the PBOC to focus on monetary policy.