Belfast Telegraph

Good news greets Carney on first day at Bank helm

By John Collingridge

New Bank of England governor Mark Carney was met with a flurry of good news on his first day as one of the world's most powerful central bankers.

The Canadian, who was at the Bank's Threadneedle Street offices by 7am after joining commuters on London Underground's Central line, was given a fillip with better-than-expected figures on home loans and manufacturing.

One of his first engagements was a briefing with fellow members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) ahead of Thursday's vote on interest rates and economic stimulus.

Mr Carney, described as a "rock star" and the George Clooney of central banking, arrived to a storm of publicity and great expectations.

Kathleen Brooks, UK research director at, said: "Mark Carney couldn't have planned his first day as governor of the Bank of England any better than this.

"Not only is the sun shining in London, but we also have two British players in the last 16 of Wimbledon and the economic data is starting to play ball as well."

He was met with a call from the British Chambers of Commerce for an expansion of the Bank's £375bn quantitative easing scheme, while former chancellor Lord Lamont urged him to call time on the vast money-printing drive.

Hailed as the "outstanding central banker of his generation", Mr Carney joins from the Bank of Canada, where he is credited with helping the Canadian economy recover faster from the downturn than any other developed major nation.

One of his first official tasks will be to chair the MPC's monthly meeting as it gathers on Wednesday and Thursday to decide on interest rates.

While economists are not expecting any action this month, many believe the Bank will pump more money into the economy over the next few months.

Vicky Redwood, at consultancy Capital Economics, said: "Bold action by the new governor would help to cement any recovery, but he cannot afford to be timid."

More on Mr Carney's plans for monetary policy is expected from August onwards, with the possibility of introducing specific forward guidance on interest rates.

His thoughts on the economy will be outlined when he makes his debut at the inflation report Press conference on August 7 – his first major media appearance.

Mr Carney, the first non-British citizen to govern the Bank of England in its 319-year history, spent yesterday in the company of bankers and politicians at the Bank's annual sports day in south-west London, where he watched former governor Sir Mervyn King play cricket.

Hand-picked by Chancellor George Osborne to head the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, the 48-year-old leads an institution responsible for financial stability and keeping Britain's banks on an even keel – as well as its main task of monetary policy.

It was his track record that prompted Mr Osborne to overlook favourites including Bank veteran Paul Tucker and Adair Turner, the former chairman of the City watchdog. Mr Carney, who will receive an £874,000 pay package – including a £5,000-a-week housing allowance – inherits a venerable institution which has expanded rapidly in recent years.

The Bank's workforce has almost doubled to 3,500 from about 1,800 in 2008.

Mr Carney has already said he will only serve a five-year term, having agreed to take the job after the term was cut from eight years – partly to reduce disruption to his children.

Belfast Telegraph