In Brief

Mark Carney in talks to extend Bank of England tenure

Treasury concerned post-Brexit transition could lead to uncertainty and destabilise markets

Mark Carney is in discussions with the Treasury to extend his tenure as governor of the Bank of England beyond his present departure date of June 2019.

The former Goldman Sachs banker is set to appear before MPs on the House of Commons Treasury committee later today to answer questions about his future.

It follows a Financial Times article revealing that that those “close to the governor” believed he was positive about an extension.

The BBC’s economics editor Kamal Ahmed, said the Treasury's overtures are “more to do with the next governor and who the Treasury think they can attract to the post given the present state of the Brexit negotiations, rather than whether Mark Carney staying will reassure the markets”. 

Several members of the Treasury select committee have told The Guardian that keeping the governor in place would help smooth Britain’s departure from the EU on 29 March.

Regulators and traders on both sides of the Channel also believe that, despite being labelled a tool of ‘Project Fear’ by some Brexiteers for his interference in the Brexit debate, Carney will provide continuity during a period of Brexit transition.

“Markets do not like change and a new governor would contribute to uncertainty. Carney is a known quantity and would subsequently offer a degree of calm that could help to reinforce confidence at the margins,” said Anthony Gillham, head of investments at Quilter Investors.

However, the FT says the difficulty with this argument is that the Brexit process is still likely to be uncertain in the summer of 2020.

The front-runner to succeed Carney is widely seen to be Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and a former deputy governor at the BoE.

Yet, earlier this year, the Chancellor Philip Hammond said he might look abroad again for a successor to Carney, a Canadian.

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