The deadline for applications to become the next governor of the Bank of England has passed and the choice that the Chancellor, George Osborne has to make does not include two candidates that were expected to apply.
The former head of the UK civil service, Gus O’Donnell and Jim O’Neill, an economist from Goldman Sachs both decided not to apply.
Mr O’Donnell is quoted in the Financial Times as saying: “You need a governor who desperately wants the job and is willing to serve eight years." It is thought that at the age of 60, he believes it is too long a period to commit himself.
The incumbent, Sir Mervyn King retires on June 30th 2013 and Mr Osborne needs to select his successor by the end of this year to ensure that there is sufficient time for a smooth handover.
The role is to be expanded as the central bank has more powers. The new governor will be responsible for setting monetary policy as well as regulating financial behavior in the city of London.
The fact that two prospective candidates have pulled out means that the remaining candidates have a better chance of being selected for the position.
The favourite for the position is the current Deputy Governor, Paul Tucker, 54. However, his reputation has been tarnished to some extent by his actions or inaction in bringing attention to the manipulation of the Libor interbank rate by Barclays traders and staff from other banks.
Mr Tucker, along with his boss, Sir Mervyn King was called to appear before the Treasury Select Committee to discuss the situation and to tell Mps what they did or did not know.
Mr Tucker denied an allegation that government ministers leaned on the Bank of England to lower Libor rates in October 2008. The Business Secretary, Vince Cable said that the investigation had not impacted on Mr Tucker’s chances of being appointed to the post.
Mr Tucker is currently in charge of financial stability at the bank and he is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Mr Tucker is the favourite of the bookmakers, priced at evens, which means the bookmakers believe he has a 50:50 chance of being given the job.
Another candidate is the current chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Adair Turner, 57, who is believed to have applied for the job. He has been heavily critical of the banking sector in the past.
Sir John Vickers, author of the report commissioned by the Independent Commission on Banking is also believed to have applied.
Neither the FSA nor the Bank of England would confirm whether Mr Turner or Mr Tucker has applied for the role.
The position was advertised for the first time ever on this occasion.