FCA's Bailey remains front runner for BoE job despite testing few months

The chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey continues to be the bookmakers' favourite to take over from Mark Carney as Bank of England Governor, despite recent scandals that may have harmed his chances.

But a pair of recent scandals, including the still-running Neil Woodford saga as well as the collapse of London & Capital Finance, have seen his odds widen. In April, he was as shot as 1/2 to take over, according to comparison website Oddschecker.

The suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund, run by the UK's highest-profile stockpicker, has served to shine a light on the FCA's oversight of the investment industry. Bailey and the FCA has been criticised - like many other institutions - for its role in the saga

Bailey will give evidence to MPs on Tuesday, where he is likely to propose a 'long-term asset fund' aimed at averting liquidity crises like the Woodford one. The hearing is widely seen by many as an audition for the BoE top job.

John Mann, a labour MP on the Treasury Select Committee, said: "Getting a grilling is good for the system, but [Mr. Bailey] is probably not thinking that right now.

"Brexit really is the issue and that is where he is on comfortable ground. With the intricacy of negotiations with the European Central Bank and others, that expertise might be immediately needed."

Bailey has refused to confirm whether he has applied for the £480,000-a-year job, but continues to edge out Raghuram Rajan, former governor at the Reserve Bank of India, as favourite. Rajan is currently the second favourite at 9/2.

Others in the running include former BoE deputy governor Minouche Shafik at 11/2, as well as current deputy governors Dave Ramsden and Ben Broadbent at 10/1 and John Cunliffe at 11/1.

Reports had suggested current Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond would decide to select Carney's successor before he leaves his role, which is expected once Theresa May officially steps down as Prime Minister.

However, a weekend report in the FT suggested that would not be the case and that Hammond would leave it to his replacement in order to not rush the selection.

Bailey had previously headed up the Prudential Regulation Authority from its creation in 2013, having been in a senior role at its forerunner the Financial Services Authority before. He joined the BoE in 1985, holding a number of key roles including private secretary to the governor and chief cashier.


Source: Investment Week

  • Michelle Kerwin
  • BoE, FCA, Finance

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