The Bank of England’s court said it has not contacted anyone to succeed Governor Mervyn King as the Canadian central bank rebuffed a report that Mark Carney has been asked about the role.
“The appointment of a new governor to replace Sir Mervyn King when he retires in summer 2013 is a matter for the government, not the court of the Bank of England,” said David Lees, Chair of Court at the U.K. central bank. “The court has not approached anyone in connection with this appointment.”
Earlier, the Financial Times said that Carney was informally approached by a member of the court, which governs the central bank’s affairs, about taking over from King. Carney heads Canada’s central bank. A U.K. Treasury official said he was surprised by the FT report and that the government hasn’t asked the court to scout for successors.
Carney, who is also chairman of the Financial Stability Board, said today he hasn’t been contacted about leaving the Bank of Canada to work at the U.K. central bank. When asked if it was accurate to say there had been no contact or communication about such a move, he said, “Yes, that’s accurate.”
“I’m totally focused on my two responsibilities as governor of the bank and as chairman of the FSB and I can assure you they add up to more than every waking hour of the day,” he told a press conference in Ottawa.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is considering looking outside the Bank of England for a successor to King when his term expires in June next year, which would be the first such move in 30 years, two people with knowledge of the matter said in February. A Treasury spokesman said today that the process for succeeding King, 64, will be announced in due course and that the best person for the job will be appointed.
Widening the pool of candidates beyond central bank insiders follows strains with the Treasury dating back to 2007 that center on how King responded to the financial crisis.
Odds offered by Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power on Carney becoming the next Bank of England Governor narrowed to 10-1 after the FT report from 25-1 previously. It means a successful 1-pound ($1.60) wager would return a 10-pound profit.
The FT said today that it is a “working assumption” in the Treasury that if Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker isn’t given the job he will leave the central bank. Fellow Deputy Governor Charlie Bean has told colleagues that, in such an event, he would stay on at the central bank to help with the transition after his own term expires, the FT said.
King is scheduled to leave the bank after serving the maximum two five-year terms allowed. The next governor may be limited to a single eight-year term under legislation proposed by the government.
The Bank of England’s court of non-executive directors oversees the Bank of England’s affairs and is separate from the interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee.
The governor is appointed by the queen following a recommendation by the government. Osborne and officials at the Treasury aim to make an announcement later this year, a person familiar with the matter said in February.
Carney, 47, was appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada in February 2008 for a seven-year term. He was also named head of the FSB, the Basel, Switzerland-based body overseeing efforts to write new rules for international finance, by leaders of the Group of 20 nations last year.
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