Top candidates exit race to be next Bank boss

Ben Southwood
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THE COMPETITION for the next governor of the Bank of England heated up yesterday as the window for applications closed, with several high profile candidates ruling themselves out.

Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill – who coined the widely-used acronym BRICs – said yesterday he hadn’t applied for the job.

And Australian central banker Glenn Stevens had not been approached by the Bank as a potential candidate – contrary to reports on Sunday – it emerged yesterday.

This came after Sunday’s revelation that former top civil servant Gus O’Donnell had not put his hat in the ring, following similar decisions earlier in the year from Canadian central bank boss Mark Carney, Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands, and former Bank policymaker DeAnne Julius.

A panel of officials will now draw up a shortlist from the remaining candidates, interview their favourites and recommend one applicant to chancellor George Osborne.

The government will announce the winner – widely expected to be deputy Bank governor Paul Tucker – by the end of the year.

Tucker has been the favourite throughout the race, based on his 30-year experience at the Old Lady and his close links in the City, and has shaken off concerns about his links with the Libor-fixing scandal.

Close behind are Lord Adair Turner, who became head of the Financial Services Authority at the height of the financial crisis, and Sir John Vickers, the economist who orchestrated post-financial crisis banking reform.