Tucker 'favoured' as next Bank governor


The BBC's Robert Peston said the job will carry new powers aimed at avoiding another financial meltdown.

The next governor of the Bank of England will be Paul Tucker, the current deputy governor, if the chancellor and prime minister choose the candidate favoured by some senior regulators, government advisers, central bankers and bankers.

I have sounded out the views on who should succeed Sir Mervyn King from 10 senior public-sector and private-sector figures, whose opinions would be regarded as relevant by George Osborne and David Cameron.

They include current and former central bankers and regulators, government advisers, members of bank boards and senior City figures. Some are Tories, but most are non-partisan.

To be clear, this is not an exercise of scientific robustness. But the 10 are not a clique or connected to each other.

If opinion among the 10 had been more divided, I would have been tempted to dismiss the outcome. But the margin in favour of Mr Tucker was too great to ignore.

Mr Tucker was the first choice of half of those I consulted. He was the second choice of all the others, except for one banker - who put him last.

My research is a strong indicator of what Mr Osborne has been told, by people he respects, about who should occupy arguably the most powerful public-sector role outside government.

I am reliably informed that Mr Osborne has taken his own soundings and is aware of Mr Tucker's popularity among what can only be described as a regulatory, City and political elite. "The chancellor is aware of these views," said a government source.

It does not guarantee that Mr Tucker will be chosen. The decision has not yet been taken - although the chancellor hopes to announce the new governor shortly before his Autumn Statement on 5 December or shortly before then.

The shortlist

  • Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England
  • Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority
  • Sir John Vickers, chair of the Independent Commission on Banking
  • Lord Burns, chairman of Santander
  • An unknown fifth candidate

I asked the 10 eminences to rank the four leading candidates - all of whom are on the shortlist to be governor - in order of preference.

The four are Mr Tucker, Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Sir John Vickers, who chaired the Independent Commission on Banking for Mr Osborne, and Lord Burns, former Treasury Permanent Secretary and currently chairman of Santander UK.

I should point out that there is one other individual who has succeeded in getting on to the shortlist to be governor. I do not know the identity of this individual, although I have been told that this person is unlikely to get the job.

In this exercise, Lord Burns and Sir John Vickers were more-or-less tied in second place, with Lord Burns ahead by just a whisker.

Lord Turner was the least popular of all the candidates, by a margin. He was given a low ranking even by those whom he might have considered friends and allies.

Some may be surprised that Mr Tucker is the preferred candidate of many, given that he is a lifer at the Bank of England and there is widespread criticism of the Bank of England's failure to prevent the financial boom that led to the great banking bust of 2008.

The new governor will arguably be the most powerful ever, in that the Bank of England's formal powers to curb inflation by setting interest rates are being augmented by new powers to stop banks going bust and to dampen overheating in markets.

Robert Peston, economics editor Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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This column may be a bit quiet for a bit, because I am away from the office.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Sounds like "jobs for the boys" to me.

    Was he around during the credit boom when the bank should have been raising interest rates ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Why not Malcolm Tucker instead. Probably as competent, with less baggage and much more entertaining.

    Can't see much from that list anything other than apologists for financial services (contradiction in terms) leeches.

    I'd like to nominate John From Hendon, he seems to have more clue than most - though for practical reasons he may have to adapt his position on the Euro.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    13. ComradeOgilvy

    I share your cynicism, given the seeming omnipresence of rot in the management of public bodies at this time. So a wonderful opportunity to appoint someone who isn't a "lifer" to oversee real change; something the establishment hates and distrusts, hence their choice of a softer option. Besides, can it be Tucker when the whiff of suasion over Libor fixing still wafts about him?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    What a terrible joke to play on the British taxpayer again.

    the deputy of the existing failed regime favored to get the top job.

    Why because the "elite" Robert has consulted, I.e the Chairman of the Banks, want to continue this obscene bailout programme.

    my nominee is Max Keiser as off with their heads for the rest of them

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    If this is the man the status quo favour, then he shouldn't be on the list.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    To change the culture in the City of London and banking, should one not look counter-intuitively at the results of your survey and invert them? A cosy coterie of bankers was surely part of the cause of previous difficulties? A selection process for the Governor is not just an industry popularity contest. We need somebody to effect a major change in culture, not win a popularity contest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Surely the governor of the central bank of Zimbmamwe must be another option.

    Treasury would be happy with anyone keen to monetize debt and print hyperinflation so Tucker and rest sound ideal.

    What happened to his Libor lowballing involvement? Is this not bring investigated anymore?

    Whoever is selected will do whatever the treasury says and will iggnore the main remit inflation and devalue GBP

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Here is what Hayek was/is all about ~ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2838c142-a560-11df-a5b7-00144feabdc0.html

    But, did he understand where bubbles come from and who causes them, or, has the world changed. There is only one way to prevent speculative mayhem and it has nought what so oo'er to do with interest rates. No matter how well you mean, human nature is exactly that. We are stupid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Well, it took digging around and a couple of favours called in, but the unknown individual on the shortlist is... click ~ http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/07/christine-lagarde-perverse-praise-latvia-economic-success?cat=commentisfree&type=article

    In its monthly note on economic outlook, Germany's finance ministry Friday warned the economy will weaken noticeably during winter months

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    A dozen of Europe's largest banks reported holding a total of $1.43 trillion of cash on deposit at various central banks as of Sept. 30, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the banks' third-quarter financial statements.

    Lenders in the euro area increased assets by 7 percent to €34.4 trillion in the year ended July 31, according to data compiled by the European Central Bank.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    In reality, Hayek's essence is not comparable with the works of Keynes. These gentlemen were attacking different puddles and from different places. Hayek saw King of the Jungle, financial slavery. The investor rampant doing god's work, if you like.

    Keynes dealt with short term fall out of excesses.

    We are in uncharted puddle, steady as she goes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    There is a lovely article and comment here http://blogs.reuters.com/nicholas-wapshott/2012/11/09/a-lost-chance-to-overturn-keynes-with-the-fiscal-cliff/

    What is the BoE? A policy instrument. A financial pillar. A white hat. Instrument of liquidity.

    Important meetings all over the globe this week, the BBC has divine wind, Mervyn called to explain it all.

    Me thinks Robert was blind sided.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    there is widespread criticism of the Bank of England's failure to prevent the financial boom that led to the great banking bust of 2008.

    Really ? who from ? because absolutely NOTHING has been done to make the system safer.....NOTHING.

    The critics have no say in these matters not for little while anyhow but our time will come.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Obviously a fan graph give a huge range of outcomes while giving a sense of certainty is needed for this projection

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    #2 Further ~ perfectly relevant in context, are the headwinds from Europe knocking our trade. This is taking place for one reason only and it is for political expedient,

    Swathes of the EU share austerity, cutting huge expenditure. Not exports but spending in the last months in well practiced economic theory.

    Implementation is break neck, sole intention a modest turn around to re elect Merkel

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The Paul Moore saga set the tone for what followed, that point is not hammered home enough yet. The then PM endosed Moore's bosses and set the tone for what followed despite having to wipe awzy the egg he was subsequently covered in. Politicians run the country and are responsible for policy and economic failures.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    What a peculiar phrase, to be told someone unknown is unlikely to get a job but not who they are?
    I do hope they are not a Conservative party member and old Etonian in which case you may well find they are very likely to be in poll position.


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