Friday 20 December 2019 10:56 am

FCA head Andrew Bailey confirmed as next Bank of England governor

Andrew Bailey has been named as the new Bank of England (BoE) governor by chancellor Sajid Javid.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) boss will be responsible for steering the world’s fifth largest economy through Brexit and a troubled global macroeconomic climate.

Read more: Bank of England refers hedge fund eavesdropping to regulator

Announcing Bailey’s appointment, Javid said Bailey had been a “clear frontrunner” during the selection process, describing him as “the standout candidate in a competitive field”.

Before becoming head of Britain’s financial regulator in 2016, Bailey worked at the Bank for 30 years, where he was central to efforts to shore up the country’s banking system during the financial crisis.

“Without question he is the right person to lead the Bank as we forge a new future outside the EU,” said Javid.

Carney staying on longer

Bailey will take over from current Bank of England governor Mark Carney on 16 March. Carney has held the role since 2008.

Bailey will serve a full eight year term, remaining in the post until 2028, and will be paid £495,000 per year.

Carney had been scheduled to stand down at the end of January, but Javid said this morning he had agreed to stay on to mid-March to allow for an orderly transition.

It is the third time that Carney’s tenure has been extended. Last year, his role was extended for a second time so he could help oversee an orderly Brexit.

In a statement this morning, Bailey said his appointment to the top job at Threadneedle Street was a “tremendous honour”.

“The Bank has a very important job and, as Governor, I will continue the work that Mark Carney has done to ensure that it has the public interest at the heart of everything it does. 

“It is important to me that the Bank continues to work for the public by maintaining monetary and financial stability and ensuring that financial institutions are safe and sound.”

Bailey also said he was committed to the Bank “being an accessible and approachable institution, as well as an open and diverse place to work”.

Experienced central banker

Bailey, who had emerged as the clear frontrunner last night, beat other favorites including London School of Economics director Dame Minouche Shafik to become the 121st governor of the Bank of England.

A former deputy governor of Britain’s central bank, Bailey’s chances of winning the role appeared to have been damaged by a series of financial scandals over the past year that have led to questions being raised about the efficacy of the FCA as a regulator.

Javid praised Bailey’s work at the FCA, and said he had “transformed” the regulator, “putting the needs and interests of consumers first”.

An interim FCA chief executive will be appointed while a search is carried out for Bailey’s permanent successor, the Treasury said.

City reacts to Bailey’s appointment 

Industry body the Investment Association (IA) has welcomed Bailey’s appointment to the top BoE job. 

“We warmly welcome Andrew Bailey’s appointment to Governor of the Bank of England and wish him all the best in his new role,” said IA chief executive Chirs Cummings.

“Andrew’s extensive experience and able leadership, demonstrated at the FCA, will enable him to successfully guide the Bank during this critical period for the UK as we prepare to leave the EU.

“We look forward to working with him to ensure the UK’s investment management industry continues to thrive, to the benefit of savers and investors,” said Cummings. 

Economist Andrew Sentance, a former member of the BoE’s monetary policy committee (MPC), congratulated Bailey and described him as “a safe pair of hands with wide experience of the Bank and the UK financial system”.

Read more: Bank of England holds interest rate at 0.75 per cent

Danny Blanchflower, a fellow former MPC member, was less enthusiastic when news that Bailey was tipped for the role emerged last night. 

“In all my time at the BoE I never once met Andrew Bailey, was in a meeting he was in or communicated with him ever or actually saw him. So a mighty presence indeed,” he tweeted.