Canadian picked to head Bank of England

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, favours tougher regulations for global lenders

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 3:14am

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney was unexpectedly appointed as the next head of the Bank of England, succeeding Mervyn King.

Carney, 47, takes the helm of a 318-year-old institution that's preparing to become the most powerful central bank in the world as it absorbs broad new powers to oversee the financial system and prevent another crisis. He'll also have to guide the Monetary Policy Committee as it implements unconventional tools to stoke a recovery and battles to protect the inflation-fighting credibility earned since it won independence in 1997.

Carney is at present head of the Group of 20's Financial Stability Board. He worked at Goldman Sachs for more than a decade before becoming a policymaker in 2003, and took over as chief of Canada's central bank in 2008.

He has pushed for tougher regulations for global lenders and clashed with banking executives over new rules requiring them to hold more capital.

His appointment was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in a statement to Parliament yesterday.

"His CV looks terrific," said Shamik Dhar, a former Bank of England economist and head of investment strategy at Aviva Investors in London.

"He's obviously an extremely good experienced leader of a central bank and is a very credible appointment. Given his background with BIS [the Bank for International Settlements, where Carney is a director], it makes it internationally credible.

"He'll have quite a big upfront job getting familiar with the circumstances in the UK. But he's not going to do badly."

Carney plans to serve for five years, Osborne said.

"He quite simply is the best and most experienced person in the world to be the next governor to the Bank of England," the chancellor said.

"Mr Carney will bring the fresh perspective needed."

The appointment follows Britain's first use of an application process for the position at the top of the central bank.

He'll face an approval hearing at the Parliament's Treasury Committee before the new job commences on July 1, the day after King steps down.