Britain set to announce next Bank of England governor
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government is set to announce its choice for the next boss of the Bank of England, one of its most pressing decisions after last week’s election victory of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Below are possible contenders to replace Mark Carney as governor of the BoE which oversees the world’s fifth-biggest economy and its huge finance industry.
Carney is due to leave the BoE on Jan. 31.
Egyptian-born Shafik, 57, was a BoE deputy governor between 2014 and 2017, in charge of markets and banking, including the central bank’s asset purchase programme. She made few comments on monetary policy during her time at the BoE.
She quit the job early to become director of the London School of Economics.
A former deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund during the Greek debt crisis, Shafik would become the first woman to head the BoE. She was only its second female deputy governor.
The BBC reported on Oct. 31 that she was the government’s favoured candidate.
Also a former deputy governor, Bailey was once widely tipped for the top job at the BoE. But his chances may have been hurt by accusations by politicians and investors that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulator, which he now heads, was slow to respond to the failure of the Woodford equity fund.
Lawmakers have also criticised Bailey, 60, for not publishing all of a report into alleged misconduct by bank RBS. Bailey cited privacy restrictions.
Although he has never been an interest-rate setter, he once ran the BoE’s international economic analysis team.
Former U.S. Federal Reserve official Warsh, 49, was credited with helping to steer the Fed’s response to the financial crisis, although his fears that quantitative easing would ignite inflation have turned out to be unfounded.
After leaving the Fed, the BoE hired Warsh to review its procedures and transparency. The central bank has mostly acted on his recommendations.
Vadera, 57, has no central banking experience but is seen as a contender due to her current role as non-executive chairwoman of Santander UK, one of Britain’s biggest banks.
As a junior business minister during the financial crisis, she helped to devise a major rescue plan to keep high-street banks in business.
Another former BoE deputy governor, Tucker was the frontrunner to take over as governor in 2013 but was pipped by Carney. He then pursued an academic career in the United States.
Tucker’s financial stability role at the BoE was scrutinised in 2012 when it emerged that banks had fraudulently manipulated the Libor interbank rate. Tucker said neither he nor the BoE knew of any misconduct. Politicians accused the BoE of naivety.
Tucker, 61, chairs the Systemic Risk Council, which advises on global financial stability risks.
Rajan, 56, headed the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016, and was the IMF’s chief economist between 2003 and 2006 when he warned of the risk of a financial crisis.
Now a professor at Chicago Booth business school, Rajan has published a book on dissatisfaction with markets and the state, touching on some of the underlying issues behind Brexit.
In July, Rajan said he had not applied for the BoE governorship, adding that the role would require someone who could navigate the difficult political landscape in Britain. But his name continues to be linked to the job by media.
THE DEPUTY GOVERNORS: BEN BROADBENT AND JON CUNLIFFE
Broadbent, 54, and Cunliffe, 66, are current BoE deputy governors for monetary policy and for financial stability respectively.
Broadbent, a former Goldman Sachs economist, is respected for his analysis but was criticised last year for describing Britain’s economy as “menopausal”.
Cunliffe was previously a British envoy to the European Union. If confirmed, he would be the oldest person to become governor in 115 years.
(Writing by Andy Bruce and William Schomberg; Editing by Nick Macfie)