Prominent City veteran Dame Helena Morrissey is in the race for the top job as Bank of England governor.
The high-flying financier could become Threadneedle Street’s first female boss after making it into a shortlist of candidates being considered to replace Mark Carney next year.
Morrissey is in the running alongside several other well-known City executives, including Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) boss Andrew Bailey and deputy BoE governor Jon Cunliffe.
The news, first reported by the Mail on Sunday, follows reports that the highly-anticipated appointment of a new governor could be delayed until after a general election.
A mother of nine with a passion for pilates, Morrissey is currently head of personal investing at Legal & General.
She launched the 30% Club in 2010, which campaigns for more representation of women on FTSE 100 boards, with a minimum target rate of 30 per cent.
The £480,000 post at the BoE, which has been advertised by the Treasury since April, involves chairing the Monetary Policy Committee which sets interest rates.
Speculation over who will replace Carney has mounted in recent months, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to be drawn into whether or not the successful candidate had to be a Brexit supporter.
Uncertainty over Britain’s imminent departure from the EU has posed a challenge for BoE economists and policymakers since the referendum vote.
Read more: Bank of England holds interest rates
Earlier this month the central bank stated that the impact of a no-deal Brexit would be less severe than they previously thought, saying that precautions have boosted confidence but “material risks” still remained.
Last week rate-setters left interest rates unchanged at 0.75 per cent, unanimously deciding to sit tight until there is further clarity on Brexit.
Global tensions and a trade war between the US and China have also driven caution over changing rates.