LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said on Friday he had not decided whether he would apply to succeed Mark Carney, who is due to step down on Jan. 31 next year.
Broadbent, who has been deputy governor for monetary policy since July 2014, is viewed as a leading contender for the role, though the favourite is generally seen as Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey.
There is speculation that finance minister Philip Hammond could again look beyond Britain’s shores to fill the role - potentially favouring former Reserve Bank of India chief Raghuram Rajan - or seek a first female governor for the BoE.
Broadbent, in a BBC radio interview following the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday, said he was “fully absorbed by and very privileged to have the job I have at the moment”.
Pressed on whether he would apply for the governorship before a June 5 deadline set out in the formal job advertisement last month, he said: “I haven’t decided yet.”
Carney has only raised interest twice during his term as governor, and financial markets are unconvinced he will do so before he leaves, given the extent to which Brexit uncertainty continues to cloud the economic outlook.
But on Thursday, Carney said markets were factoring in just one interest rate rise over the next three years, too few to keep inflation under control if the economy grew as the BoE expected.
Broadbent said that six months ago, markets had expected one rate rise a year.
“Even then, ‘one quarter-point rate rise per year’, I wouldn’t describe that as particularly dramatic. And indeed, as we have said for many of the past few years, we expect the path of interest rates, as and when they do go up..., to be limited and gradual.”
Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by James Davey and Mark Heinrich