Osborne Urged by Lawmakers to Shed Light on BOE Governor Search

Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne is facing pressure to shed light on his search for the next Bank of England governor after the head of the Canadian central bank denied a report he had been contacted.

“I am concerned that the process for selecting the next governor lacks clarity,” Andrew Tyrie, chairman of Parliament’s cross-party Treasury Committee, wrote in a letter to Osborne yesterday. “Press reports suggest that prospective candidates are being informally approached.”

The Financial Times reported April 18 that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney had been informally approached by the U.K. central bank’s Court to replace Mervyn King when his term expires in June 2013. Carney denied he’d been contacted and David Lees, chairman of the body that governs the bank’s affairs, said the Court had made no approach to anyone.

“I would be grateful if you could set out in detail the process envisaged for the appointment of the next governor,” Tyrie wrote. “The choice of the next governor will be perhaps the most important public appointment the government will make.”

Tyrie’s panel, which scrutinizes the Treasury and the Bank of England, renewed its appeal to be given a statutory power of veto over the appointment or dismissal of the governor. The committee made the recommendation in November following an inquiry into the accountability of the central bank.

The suggestion “has attracted widespread support,” wrote Tyrie, a lawmaker for the ruling Conservative Party of Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron. “Regrettably, you rejected that recommendation. I hope that you will reconsider.”

King is scheduled to leave the bank after serving the maximum two five-year terms allowed. The next governor may be limited to a single eight-year term under legislation proposed by the government.

The governor is appointed by the queen following a recommendation by the government. Osborne and officials at the Treasury aim to make an announcement later this year, a person familiar with the matter said in February.

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