LONDON (Reuters) – Speculation over who will be the Bank of England’s next governor has mounted ahead of Mark Carney’s scheduled departure on Jan. 31.
British media is awash with rumours about the government’s favoured candidates. Former BoE deputy governors Paul Tucker and Minouche Shafik are the latest to be linked to the position.
The finance ministry has said it will not make an announcement until after the Dec. 12 election.
Carney has suggested he might stay a bit longer – in what would be his third extension – if needed.
Below are possible contenders to run the BoE which oversees the world’s fifth-biggest economy and its huge finance industry.
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 program. She made few comments on monetary policy.
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.
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 scrutinized 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 criticized their apparent naivety.
Tucker, 61, chairs the Systemic Risk Board, which advises on global financial stability risks.
Also a former deputy governor, Bailey was once widely tipped for the top job at the BoE. But Bailey’s chances may have been reduced 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 criticized Bailey, 60, for not publishing all of a report into alleged misconduct by bank RBS. Bailey cited privacy restrictions.
Although he has never been interest-rate setter, he once ran the BoE’s international economic analysis team.
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 deal the difficult political landscape in Britain. But his name continues to be linked to the job by media.
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.
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 criticized earlier this 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.
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.
The race could be blown open if opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wins power in the Dec. 12 election.
Corbyn and his would-be finance minister John McDonnell are socialists and have suggested the BoE should fund infrastructure investment, a big change from its current focus on inflation.
Former members of Labour’s economic advisory committee included U.S. academic and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Ann Pettifor, a British economist who is an austerity critic.
Some newspapers have said the BoE’s chief economist Andy Haldane might be a good candidate for Labour because of his focus on improving productivity.
(Writing by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg and Alison Williams)