October 6, 2016 / 2:52 PM / a year ago

Hammond says would like Carney to extend time at BoE

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond speaks at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Britain October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Thursday he would like Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to serve a full eight-year term at the central bank, rather than leave in 2018 as he originally agreed.

“He will make his decision in due course and that’s his decision – he made that very clear. But I certainly would welcome his decision to stay if that is the decision he makes,” Hammond told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

The Canadian secured an agreement to stay at the BoE for only five years from former Chancellor George Osborne when he moved to London in 2013, saying he had personal and professional reasons for not serving the full eight years.

But Carney raised the possibility of staying until 2021 around a year ago and he has said he intends to announce his decision by the end of this year.

Asked about how long he would stay at the British central bank on Thursday, Carney declined comment.

Should he decide to stay, Carney will face the challenge of guiding the British economy through what is likely to be a turbulent time as the country prepares to leave the European Union and starts a new phase of its history outside it.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May took the unusual step of criticising BoE policy when she said near-zero rates and the BoE’s huge bond-buying programme had hurt savers. Aides to May said the comments were not intended to influence BoE policy.

Reporting by Peter Hobson, writing by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce

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