Bank of England Governor Carney ready to serve full term

By Updated at 2016-10-31 08:29:05 +0000

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Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is leaning towards deciding to serve a full eight-year term, despite critics calling for him not to extend his time in charge of the British central bank, according to news reports.

Carney, who has come under fire from supporters of Brexit for his stance in the EU referendum campaign, has said he will announce by the end of the year whether he will take up an option to stay at the Bank until 2021 rather than stick to his current departure date in mid-2018.

Carney is due to hold a quarterly BoE news conference on Thursday and could make an announcement on his decision then.

The Financial Times reported the Canadian, who joined the BoE in 2013, was ready to serve a full eight-year term instead of five. The BBC also said people close to Carney believed he was leaning towards staying for eight years.

Those reports contrasted with others in newspapers over the weekend that said Carney was more likely to announce that he would leave in 2018.

The Sunday Times said Carney was unhappy with British Prime Minister Theresa May's office and had a closer relationship with former finance minister George Osborne, who had recruited him, than with the current minister Philip Hammond.

Earlier this month, May took the unusual step of criticizing the Bank of England's low interest rates, prompting push-back from Carney who said he would not be told how to do his job by politicians.

The governor is expected to confer with May and Hammond before making a decision, the FT reported.

Last week, Carney said his decision whether to stay would be based on personal rather than political considerations, and he would need to find some time to make up his mind.

Carney continues to be criticized by supporters of Brexit for warning before the June 23 Brexit vote of the likely hit to be Britain's economy from a vote to leave the European Union.

Daniel Hannan, a pro-Brexit Conservative member of the European Parliament and a persistent Carney critic, told BBC radio that the governor needed to avoid getting involved in political issues.

"It's up to him (whether he extends his stay) but if he does stay it's got to be on the basis that he's not the rock star banker who presumes to tell Scotland whether to stay in Britain, which way to vote, and rather sticks narrowly to his brief," Hannan told BBC radio.

But others have rallied behind Carney. Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the world's biggest advertising group WPP, said he hoped Carney would stay to help ease Britain's economy through the volatility of the Brexit process ahead.

"I hope Mark Carney stays, that will reduce levels of uncertainty," Sorrell told Reuters.

(Additional reporting by Paul Sandle and Sarah Young in London and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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