George Osborne is mulling a bid to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to reports, after its current managing director Christine Lagarde was tapped for the top job at the European Central Bank (ECB).
Currently editor of London’s Evening Standard, the former chancellor has told friends he could win support from China, the US and Europe, the Financial Times reported.
If successful, Osborne would be the first Briton to lead the IMF. The Fund seeks to maintain international monetary cooperation and acts as a lender of last resort to countries in need.
Since their foundations following World War II, a European has always led the IMF while an American has taken charge at the World Bank, which aims to encourage development through the provision of loans.
Osborne will be hoping that his international connections will boost his chances at the IMF role. He was dumped from high office three years ago by the incoming Prime Minister Theresa May.
The next managing director of the Fund will be chosen by the IMF board, on which the US and China have a high level of influence.
The former chancellor made friends in Beijing when he ensured Britain become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Bank in 2015.
Outgoing Bank of England governor Mark Carney is another figure from British public life who may seek the top job at the IMF. Carney holds British, Irish and Canadian citizenship, qualifying him for the post under its unwritten rules.
He leaves his post as governor at Threadneedle Street in January after eight years in charge. Carney was appointed by Osborne in 2012.
The BoE governor chaired the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which monitors the global financial system, from 2011 to 2018.