Britain appoints Carney to head Bank of England

November 27, 2012
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Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, speaks at a press conference in Mexico City on November 5 © AFP/File Yuri Cortez
LONDON, Nov 27 – Britain has named Canadian central bank chief Mark Carney as the new Bank of England governor, the first time a foreigner has been chosen to lead the institution which is in a period of enormous change.

Finance minister George Osborne told lawmakers on Monday that the 47-year-old Carney was the “outstanding central banker of his generation”, while Carney himself said he was honoured to be picked.

“He is quite simply the best, most experienced and most qualified person in the world to be the next governor of the Bank of England,” Osborne said in his statement to parliament.

Carney, who is currently governor of the Bank of Canada and chair of the global Financial Stability Board (FSB), will take over from Mervyn King, who has led the BoE since 2003 and is due to step down on June 30 next year.

The new BoE governor, who intends to take up British citizenship and is married to a British wife, was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada.

“Mark Carney is not a British citizen but he is a subject of the queen,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne said, to cheers from MPs.

Carney, who previously worked for 13 years at US investment bank Goldman Sachs including in London, will serve a five-year term as BoE governor and stand down at the end of June 2018.

He is the first non-British citizen appointed as governor since the British central bank was founded in 1694, officials confirmed.

“I am honoured to accept this important and demanding role, and to succeed Sir Mervyn King with whom I have worked closely over these past five years and from whom I learned so much,” Carney said in a statement.

“This is a critical time for the British, European and global economies; a decisive period for reform of the global financial system including its leading financial centre, the City of London; and a crucial point in the Bank of England’s history as it accepts vital new responsibilities.”

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