Carney to face scrutiny on Bank of England plans

Mon Feb 4, 2013 10:04am EST
 

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Carney, the man about to take the helm at the Bank of England, faces his first public grilling on Thursday about how he would revive Britain's economy.

Canada's central bank governor was British finance minister George Osborne's surprise choice in November to succeed Mervyn King, who retires at the end of June as governor of the 318-year-old bank nicknamed the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

Carney, a 47-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker who studied at Harvard and Oxford, has a reputation for a tough approach to bank regulation and helping Canada avoid the worst of the financial crisis.

More recently he has stirred the UK policymaking establishment by appearing willing to consider a shift in how the central bank fights inflation.

What exactly Carney will do differently to King is unclear. For a start he will be just one of nine UK interest rate setters and he has so far confined himself to generalities rather than talking about the Bank of England itself.

That will change on Thursday when he is quizzed for three hours by a British parliamentary committee from 4.45 a.m. ET.

The committee has said its main concern will be to "question Dr Carney on whether he thinks that there may be a better monetary policy for the UK than the current one".

Independent reports last year criticized the Bank for being slow to act at the start of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, from which the economy has still not recovered, and of being burdened by an over-hierarchical management culture.   Continued...

 
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney speaks during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa January 19, 2011 REUTERS/Chris Wattie