Canada's Flaherty expects April decision on central bank head

Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:30am EST
 

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Canada's finance minister expects to choose the country's next central bank governor in April and said on Friday he was looking worldwide for the right candidate, who must hold a Canadian passport.

Mark Carney is stepping down as governor of the Bank of Canada in June to head the Bank of England, and the process of finding his replacement is under way.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who will conduct the interviews for the top monetary policy job, told Reuters he expected to make a decision "probably in April", adding he had no bias when it came to internal or external candidates.

"We will look around the world. One of our restrictions is it has to be a Canadian - it doesn't matter where they live," he said during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

Carney's appointment to the Bank of England was accompanied by glowing accounts of his role in keeping Canada's economy safe during the global financial crisis, and Flaherty agreed he had done a great job.

"We need to look for someone like Mark, actually," Flaherty said. "We're going to look for a macroeconomist. We are going to look for someone who sees the big picture."

The Bank of Canada conducts monetary policy independently of the government of the day, but the finance minister has the ultimate authority to overrule the governor in cases of extreme disagreement, a power that has never been used.

An external recruiting firm, Odgers Berndtson, has advertised the position, and a special committee of the Bank of Canada's board of directors has the task of compiling a list of potential candidates for the job.

The federal cabinet must approve all Bank of Canada governor appointments.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Will Waterman)

 
Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie