Rajan a possible contender for Bank of England governor post

financial chronicle

Business, In Other News

UK government hunts for a candidate to take charge from next year, according to a media report.

Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.

New Delhi: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan may be among some of the world’s leading economists in the running for the post of Bank of England (BoE) governor as the UK government hunts for a candidate to take charge from next year, according to a media report.

Canada-born Mark Carney, the current governor of England’s central bank, is set to step down at the end of his term in June 2019. He had become the first foreigner in the post in three centuries when he took up the role in 2013.

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has now indicated that his global hunt for Carney’s successor is ongoing, indicating the next governor could well be a foreigner too.

“Attracting Raghuram Rajan, the highly-respected Chicago-based economist and former Reserve Bank of India governor, would be a coup,” writes The Financial Times.

In its own analysis of the pros and cons of Rajan’s candidacy for the post, the newspaper notes the Katherine Dusak Miller distinguished service professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business would bring with him “impeccable international economics and central banking experience.”

55-year-old Rajan also has “significant achievements at the Reserve Bank of India,” the newspaper notes. The con, in its view, would be that he has thus far shown “no indication that he would want the job at the BoE.”

On the newspaper’s list of prospective candidates is another Indian-origin contender in Shriti Vadera, the chair of Santander UK and a former UK government business minister.

“Having been a key government figure in the financial crisis, Baroness Vadera is also credited with doing a good job in chairing a committee of City [of London] grandees, and later in helping to frame the UK’s position on Brexit and financial services,” the newspaper notes.

The UK’s Treasury department wants an open competition for the post and is seeking applications from well-qualified candidates from around the world.

“The formal process has not yet started but I, and many other people I am sure, may have cast their eye around various rooms to see if any likely looking candidates hove into view,” Hammond told reporters on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington recently.

The Treasury is expected to advertise the post by July this year, a year before a new incumbent as the Bank of England chief is due to take charge.