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Turner Says BOE Governor Doesn’t Have to Be ‘God-Like’ Figure

FSA Chairman Adair Turner
Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner said, “Checks and balances are very important.” Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner, a potential candidate to run the Bank of England, said the institution doesn’t need a “God-like” governor as long as its policy committees function properly.

“I think we ought to see a lot of the decisions that will need to be made as coming out of those committees, and subject to the process of challenging within them, rather than depending on some sort of God-like, wise leader, whoever you might think that leader might be,” Turner said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in London today.

Turner, who is one of the favorites to succeed Mervyn King as governor of the central bank, declined to say who would be the right person for the role. He said that keeping a check on the bank’s chief will be necessary given the expanded powers over financial regulation that King’s successor will wield.

“Checks and balances are very important,” Turner said. “Checks and balances have worked very well in relation to the Monetary Policy Committee and I think they are increasingly working well in relation to the Financial Policy Committee.”

Turner said he is “focused” for the moment on his current role dealing with the “challenges for U.K. banking.”

“That’s quite enough to get on with for now,” he said. “As well as the very major problems in the macro economy,” there is “the need to get right the balance between bank prudential rules that make banks more resilient and the need to expand lending to the real economy.”

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