September 3, 2018 / 9:01 AM / in 2 months

UK government in talks to keep Carney longer at BoE: BBC

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance ministry is in talks with the Bank of England over whether Governor Mark Carney is willing to stay beyond his planned departure date of June 30 next year, amid difficulties finding a successor, the BBC reported on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, speaks during the central bank's quarterly Inflation Report press conference in London, Britain August 2, 2018. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

Carney originally planned to serve just five years of a maximum eight-year term as governor, but in October 2016 he agreed to stay an extra year, until mid 2019, to see Britain past its expected departure from the European Union.

Now it appears he is being asked to delay his departure again, albeit possibly by less than a year, the BBC said, without citing a specific source.

“I understand that the Treasury is concerned that trying to complete a process to find a new Governor now — in the teeth of the Brexit negotiations — would be difficult,” the BBC’s economics editor, Kamal Ahmed, wrote.

“However, it has been made clear to me that no deal has been agreed and the extension might be much less than a year, if it happens,” he added.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said there had been no change to the finance ministry’s plan to start a formal search for Carney’s successor.

“The Governor has said that he intends to step down in June 2019 and the Treasury has said they will start recruiting for a new governor in due course, and that is still the plan,” he told reporters.

Earlier on Monday the Financial Times cited “people close to the governor” as saying Carney would be willing to serve more of his term than he had previously stated.

The BoE declined to comment on the BBC and FT reports.

Carney is due to appear before a parliament committee for a regular hearing on Tuesday, when he is likely to be asked about his future plans.

The front-runner to succeed Carney is widely seen to be Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and a former deputy governor at the BoE.

However, earlier this year finance minister Philip Hammond said he might look abroad again for a successor to Carney.

The announcement of Carney’s appointment in 2012 came as a surprise, as Carney had previously denied interest in the role and the then-deputy governor, Paul Tucker, had been seen as the favorite for the role.

Additional reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Toby Chopra

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