Bank boss insists ‘ample time’ for handover to new governor

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said there is “ample time” for an orderly handover to his yet-to-be appointed successor.

In a hearing with the Treasury Select Committee, Mr Carney gave assurances over the leadership of the central bank when he stands down in January next year.

He said: “At the moment the commitment is to have an orderly transition from myself to the next governor.

“There is ample time in order to accomplish that.”

Mr Carney pointed out that his counterpart at the European Central Bank – Mario Draghi – was appointed just a few weeks before taking office.

Answering questions from the public – which were submitted for inclusion in the hearing for the first time – Mr Carney said the Treasury has encouraged a “wide range of candidates” to apply for the post.

He added he believed the appointment process for his successor is more transparent than that of the European Central Bank or the US Federal Reserve.

He also declined once again to directly answer whether he would consider extending his term or the possibility of an interim governor.

He said it was “far too early” to consider such hypothetical scenarios.

“We have an extremely strong internal team,” he added.

The Treasury has recently said the process to appoint Mr Carney’s successor is “on track” ahead of the governor’s departure in January.

But the process is understood to have been delayed as the Government looks to resolve Brexit and the Treasury had previously said it would announce a decision in the autumn.

Asked whether he believed the Government should publish the candidate list, Mr Carney said there is a “balance in terms of encouraging as many people as possible to apply and about being transparent”.

MPs also questioned Mr Carney and members of the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee on the potential for investors and hedge funds to make money out of betting against the fall in the value of the pound in a no-deal Brexit.

He said: “The will be some financial institutions, there may be some individuals connected with those financial institutions, who have correctly predicted – or got lucky on – which direction sterling ends up going and they will potentially make a lot of money.

“But it won’t cascade into the core of the system and it won’t impact on the real economy.”

Labour MP Alison McGovern asked if it was a “legitimate concern” that some wealthy people stand to profit out of a no-deal Brexit.

“In a no-deal, some people will become wealthier, but they will be outnumbered by the number who will become poorer,” Mr Carney replied.

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