BOE IDOL: The Search for Britain’s Next Central Bank Governor

After almost a decade, the time has come once again for the U.K. finance minister to find the Bank of England‘s (BOE) next governor! The search is on, baby!

On June 30, 2013, Mervyn King is due to finally step down as the BOE governor after holding the position for 10 years. But even though his term won’t end until the middle of next year, U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne must choose the succeeding governor from a shortlist before the year comes to an end.

Osborne faces a very important decision as the new governor will be one of Britain’s most powerful unelected public figures. He will be tasked with heading the central bank and setting monetary policy for the U.K.

The deadline for applications just ended yesterday and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the BOE have yet to reveal who have applied, but rumor has it that the number of CREDIBLE applicants didn’t even reach the double digit figure.

Nevertheless, a couple of names are already going around as top candidates- BOE Deputy Governor Paul Tucker and Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner.

Paul Tucker

paul-tucker.jpgWith over 30 years of experience working in the central bank, it’s no surprise that BOE Deputy Governor Paul Tucker is considered by many as a very strong candidate to succeed Mervyn King. However, his involvement in the recent LIBOR scandal has led some to doubt if he’s fit for the position.

When the LIBOR scandal came to light, Paul Tucker was the BOE’s executive director for markets.

His name was dragged through the mud because it was discovered that he had exchanged several emails and phone calls with the now disgraced former Barclays Chief Executive Bob diamond during this period. His haters believe that he was far too close to Bob Diamond, and they think he should be held accountable for not discovering the market abuse.

Adair Turner

adair-turner.jpgAdair Turner is a former management consultant who became the FSA Chairman at the height of the financial crisis. He’s known for his staunch stance towards banks’ past practices.

At a time when a lot of people are clamoring for massive banking reform, he’s a very strong candidate.

Still, one major problem with Turner, according to his doubters, is his lack of experience with central bank monetary policy.

Place your bets!

Despite the doubt over Tucker’s integrity, the fact remains that he is the one that understands banking better. He has been serving the BOE for more than 30 years, and he knows the ins and outs of monetary policy.

To add to that, a survey that was conducted by lawmakers showed that there was a lot of support for him. John Vincent Cable, the Business Secretary of the coalition cabinet of David Cameron, even went on record to say that the LIBOR probe had not eroded Tucker’s shot at leadership.

For now, Tucker remains the stronger candidate among the two, and it’s highly likely that he will be appointed as the next BOE Governor.


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