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-Interview Panel Members Prepared To Go Public If Criteria Ignored
By David Robinson
     LONDON (MNI) - The next Bank of England governor is more likely to be an
experienced technocrat drawn from the interview panel's shortlist than an
outsider imposed by the government, MNI understands, with people familiar with
the process saying panel members would voice public disagreement if their
choices were ignored.
     The job specification to replace Mark Carney, published in April,
stipulated that his successor should have "substantial experience of working at
the most senior level in a major bank or other financial institution or of
working in, or involvement with, central banking". Obvious candidates include
BOE Executive Director and Financial Conduct Authority head Andrew Bailey and
Deputy Governors Jon Cunliffe and Ben Broadbent. Other eligible candidates,
floated in reports to potentially become the first female BOE head, include
former Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik and Shriti Vadera, once a government
minister and currently chair of Santander UK.
     But media have also reported the government could consider appointing a
governor known to be in favour of its Brexit policy, mentioning names including
Helena Morrissey, who heads personal investing for Legal and General, and former
Standard Chartered economist Gerard Lyons. Neither would be an obvious
candidate, and both lack central bank experience.
     While the short-list has not been made public, members of the interview
panel which drew it up would not stay silent if Chancellor Sajid Javid were to
announce a BOE head who was not on it, people familiar with the process said.
The panel, which includes Bradley Fried, Chair of the Court of Directors at the
Bank of England and Kate Barker, former monetary policy committee member,
alongside top Treasury official Tom Scholar, could, if necessary inform the
cross-party Treasury Select Committee that they had not shortlisted the new
     The TSC holds confirmation hearings into senior appointments at the BOE. It
could not legally block a new governor, but it could refuse to give its blessing
to an appointment following a confirmation hearing. This occurred in 2000, when
it baulked at the appointment of Oxford economist Chris Allsopp to the monetary
policy committee. A similar move regarding the head of the BOE would generate a
political storm.
     The institution could also suffer reputational damage if its new head were
perceived to be a political appointment without the right experience.
     Time is tight to appoint the next governor. The original application window
ran through to June 5, with former Chancellor Philip Hammond telling the TSC
that he expected the appointment to be made "at some time in the autumn," as
this would give allow time for the new governor to become familiar with the
role. Carney is standing down at the end of January.
     At the end of September, Javid told the TSC that the recruitment process
was "on track" but with speculation swirling over a November general election
there is little room for delay.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; email:
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