INSIGHT-Britain's bankers look forward to Carney era

Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:01pm EDT
 
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By William Schomberg and Louise Egan

LONDON/OTTAWA, June 26 (Reuters) - To many in the City of London financial centre, incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney looks and sounds like one of them.

His instincts for finance were shaped at the outset by 13 years working for Goldman Sachs - a contrast with his predecessor Mervyn King, an academic economist.

King, like many in the country, has barely disguised his disdain for bankers.

Britain's banks helped bring the $2.5 trillion economy to its knees by racking up risky bets that forced the government to bail them out when the financial crisis erupted.

The banks are now hoping for a better working relationship with Carney. He starts his new job on July 1 with sweeping new powers to kickstart an economy that is suffering its slowest recovery from recession on record.

"Mervyn is seen as hostile and sometimes contemptuous of bankers and that will change," said John Gieve, a former Bank of England deputy governor in charge of financial stability. "Carney is likely to be someone who speaks the same language as the bankers."

But Carney will be no soft touch.

The 48 year-old, who once said he gears up for big meetings by listening to Hell's Bells by rockers AC/DC, is quick tempered and not afraid to ruffle feathers. He has shown little patience for pleas to slow the pace of banking reform, as head of the Bank of Canada and of the Financial Stability Board that leads global efforts to improve regulation and supervision.   Continued...