Monday deadline for Bank candidates

Mervyn KingDominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hopefuls for the post of Bank of England governor have until 8.30am on Monday to stake their claim for the biggest job in British banking.

The choice of the next governor is viewed as the most important decision the Chancellor and Prime Minister will make before the next general election.
Charged with steering the economy through periods of both boom and bust, the Treasury wants "a person of undisputed integrity and standing" to take up Sir Mervyn King's mantle.

David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, said the role is a "really important job that most people wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole".

Nonetheless, a range of financial heavyweights are believed to be in contention for the £305,000-a-year position, from current deputy governor Paul Tucker to chairman of the Financial Services Authority Lord Adair Turner. Mr Tucker is odds-on favourite for the position, despite his recent entanglement in the Barclays rate-fixing affair, while Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is close second.

While there is no guarantee who will land the role, what is certain is the gargantuan task faced by the new governor, tasked with taking the helm at an institution that has swollen significantly in the last nine years. Under reforms being pushed through by Chancellor George Osborne, the Bank will be held responsible for supervising City institutions and preserving financial stability through the Financial Policy Committee and Prudential Regulation Authority.

This will come in addition to its interest-rate setting role and representation at important international conferences, such as the G7, G20 and the Bank for International Settlements in Basel. The complexity of the portfolio has drawn warnings from analysts that the heavily expanded role will be "next to impossible", while the Treasury Select Committee has raised concerns about how accountable the Bank will be once new legislation is in place.

Andrew Miller, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments, told The Times: "So many major tasks have been lumped one on top of another that the fear is that the role of the next governor could well be next to impossible."

Meanwhile, it is understood concerns have been raised over the new eight-year, non-renewable term being laid down for the next governor, which replaces the two five-year terms served by Sir Mervyn. A panel chaired by Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary to the Treasury - which includes his deputy Tom Scholar and Sir David Lees, Court of the Bank of England chairman - conduct interviews before reporting to the Chancellor.

Sir Mervyn will retire on June 30 next year.

© 2012 Press Association
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