BANK of England’s deputy governor Paul Tucker is now widely expected to take the top job next year, after Sir Mervyn King steps down.
Chancellor George Osborne will announce the next head of the Bank of England in his Autumn Statement on 5 December.
The winning candidate will take on a role far more powerful than the one Sir Mervyn is leaving, as the Bank is gaining increasing powers over the financial sector, in addition to its interest-rate setting authority.
Tucker is well placed, with years of experience at the Bank, and Paddy Power yesterday slashed the odds on his appointment to 1/3.
But the race is not yet over, as Tucker’s lack of private sector experience will count against him, as does his apparent closeness to Barclays’ leadership in the Libor-fixing scandal.
Financial Services Authority (FSA) chairman Lord Adair Turner is the next most likely candidate, with the regulatory experience required to run the newly powerful Bank, but also private sector knowledge.
Previously at Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered, he knows the industry, but has been out of it for long enough to avoid damage from the sector’s current poor reputation.
However his lack of popularity in the City has pushed his odds down to 7/1.
Santander chairman Lord Terence Burns spent his career as an economist in the civil service. He was not an early frontrunner, but has attracted late attention to bring him ahead of Lord Turner on 13/2.
Banking reformer Sir John Vickers is also in with a shot after his proposals to shake up the industry attracted widespread support.
The runners and riders are rounded off with Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles. The chair of the European Parliament’s monetary affairs committee hopes she can provide an outsider’s point of view, while making use of strong relationships with regulators and central bankers across Europe.
FIELD NARROWS IN THE RACE TO BE BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR
SIR JOHN VICKERS