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Carney Signals He Isn’t a Candidate for Bank of England

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said he planned to “fulfill” his role as Bank of Canada governor, which is due to last until 2015. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney signalled he isn’t a candidate to succeed Mervyn King as the next Bank of England chief.

Carney, asked yesterday on the BBC’s Hardtalk program in London whether he would be interested in becoming governor of the U.K. central bank, said he’s “very focused” on his current posts and “interested in who they pick” to replace King. Questioned on whether his answers meant “a no or a never consider the job?” he said: “It’s both. How’s that?”

Carney’s name has been frequently listed among candidates ever since the Financial Times reported in April that the Canadian had been approached for the role by the Bank of England’s court of directors, a claim refuted by its chairman. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the same month that he would begin work in the autumn on a formal search to replace King, who will retire in June 2013.

“It’s an extremely important post,” Carney told the BBC, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the Bank of Canada for release today. “I’m very focused on my post at the Bank of Canada and the Financial Stability Board, and I look forward to working with the new or the next governor of the Bank of England. But until the end of June of next year, I will very much enjoy working with Sir Mervyn.”

Carney, 47, currently combines his Bank of Canada role with leading the Financial Stability Board, which oversees global financial regulation for the Group of 20 nations. He has a British wife, received his masters and PhD degrees from Oxford University, and worked in London with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

One More Time

Asked once more if his replies meant “it’s a never,” Carney said: “Yes.”

In a separate interview with CTV television, Carney said he hasn’t been approached by the Bank of England’s court or spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron on the matter. He said he planned to “fulfill” his role as Bank of Canada governor, which is due to last until 2015.

Other potential candidates for the job include Gus O’Donnell, former head of the civil service, Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner and Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, a three-decade veteran at the bank.

Turner said in a July 24 interview that he “would obviously not rule myself out” of consideration for the post. O’Donnell said in a June 27 interview that he was using a new job as an adviser at a Canadian bank to learn about banks and regulation as he considers whether to apply.

Asked by the BBC about King’s record, Carney said the Bank of England “anticipated much of the softness” in the U.K. economy and has “provided a tremendous amount of stimulus.”

Carney, who was appointed chairman of the FSB by G-20 leaders last November, also told the BBC that the world’s major banks have increased their capital by more than 25 percent and are “in a position” to meet new requirements set by global regulators five years ahead of the 2019 required deadline if they use their net income to shore up capital.

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