Thursday 11 July 2019 4:02 pm

Mark Carney too busy to think about IMF role – for now

Mark Carney today refused to be drawn on whether he has his eyes set on the top job at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after he leaves the Bank of England in January.

Read more: IMF chief Christine Lagarde among surprise picks for top EU jobs

The Bank’s governor said there were “a few orderly transitions” he had to look after at Threadneedle Street before he focused on anything else.

Carney said: “One of them’s an orderly transition through October 31”, the date Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. 

He said he also had to guarantee “an orderly transition to my successor, and of course I’ll make sure that is the case”.

The IMF role will become vacant when its current director Christine Lagarde takes her place as the next boss of the European Central Bank (ECB).

The Fund seeks to maintain international monetary cooperation and acts as a lender of last resort to countries in need.  

Lagarde was chosen by member states at the start of this month to replace Mario Draghi, who is credited with saving the euro with his “whatever it takes” approach to policy following the Eurozone crisis.

At a press conference today for the BoE’s Financial Stability Report, Carney praised Lagarde’s time at the IMF, highlighting her decision to add the Chinese renminbi to the Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket which is central to its work.

He said it was “an absolute privilege” to have the role of Bank of England governor. He added: “We need to respect the process” of the selection of the next ECB president.

Carney said the process to select the next IMF boss “should be open, transparent and merit-based”.

On his own ambitions, he said: “There’ll come a time when that process launches and that’s probably the right time to answer that question.”

Read more: Banks can cope with no-deal Brexit but risks remain, says BoE

Should he decide to go for the top role at the IMF, Carney would have to fight off competition from former UK chancellor George Osborne, who is reported to fancy the job.