May 1, 2019 / 2:23 PM / 20 days ago

First female BoE governor will be 'brilliant moment': oversight chief

FILE PHOTO: The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney leaves after a news conference at the Bank of England in London, Britain February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The appointment of the first female governor of the Bank of England will be a “brilliant moment” but Mark Carney’s successor should be the very best person for the job, regardless of their gender, the BoE’s top oversight official said.

Britain has begun the search for the next boss of its central bank ahead of Carney’s departure in nine months’ time.

“It will be a brilliant moment for this institution when we appoint our first woman governor and it will be a brilliant moment for the institution when we appoint our first BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) governor,” Bradley Fried, chair of the BoE’s Court, said.

He told lawmakers that such appointments would be “inspirational” for the institution, for the financial services industry and on an international level.

“The next governor should be the very best person for the job, whoever they may be. But we fully expect to see a diverse shortlist to make that best appointment,” Fried said.

Carney, a Canadian, became the first foreign governor in the BoE’s three-century history when he took up his role on July 1, 2013. He is due to step down on Jan. 31 next year.

Many of the people expected to be front-runners to replace him are male, including former BoE deputy governor Andrew Bailey who is now chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, a markets regulator, and current top BoE officials such as deputy governor Ben Broadbent and chief economist Andy Haldane.

Potential female candidates include Minouche Shafik, a former BoE deputy governor who is director of the London School of Economics, and Shriti Vadera who is non-executive chairwoman of Santander UK, one of Britain’s biggest banks, and was a junior business minister during the financial crisis.

Carney has acknowledged the lack of women in senior positions at the BoE. Only one of the central bank’s nine current monetary policy makers is female. Of the 12 members of its Financial Policy Committee, similarly only one is a woman.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Writing by William Schomberg

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