PROFILE-Poland's new finance minister Mateusz Szczurek

WARSAW Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:20am EST

WARSAW Nov 20 (Reuters) - Mateusz Szczurek, the 38-year-old who was named on Wednesday as Poland's new finance minister, is a political novice who has spent his career in commercial banking.

His current post is as chief economist for Central and Eastern Europe at ING Bank in Warsaw, and he was previously the bank's chief economist for Poland.

He studied economics at the University of Warsaw, and wrote his Masters thesis on "Chaos and non-linearity in Foreign Exchange Markets." He also has a PhD from the University of Sussex, in southern England.

Several economists said he has a solid grasp of the technical aspects of running the public finances, but that his limited political stature would mean that the weight of policy-making will shift to the prime minister's office.

Szczurek has not been present in the public eye until now and his specific views on how Poland's finances should be run have not been aired in public.

Rafal Benecki, a colleague of the new minister at ING Bank, said Szczurek had a strong record as an economist. "He is not a supporter of any specific economic thought, but he supports any rational economic solutions."

Szczurek has 5 children, according to former colleagues, and enjoys bicycle trips with his family.