Bank of England Picks New Governor to Guide It After Brexit

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The British government on Friday named Andrew Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority, to be the next chief of the Bank of England. Mr. Bailey, who worked at the central bank for over 30 years before leaving to run the financial watchdog in 2016, will succeed Mark Carney.

As head of the Financial Conduct Authority, Mr. Bailey has extensive oversight experience. On Thursday, the regulator said it was investigating the misuse of a Bank of England audio feed that allowed investors to hear comments from news conferences before they were available to the public.

Mr. Bailey will begin his eight-year term on March 16. Mr. Carney, who had previously said he would leave on Jan. 31, will now stay on until March 15.

Mr. Bailey, 60, will be taking charge of the central bank shortly after Britain is expected to withdraw from the European Union, on Jan. 31. He will be tasked with keeping the country’s economy on an even keel and responding to the fallout from the departure, known as Brexit.

“If global growth fails to stabilize or if Brexit uncertainties remain entrenched, monetary policy may need to reinforce the expected recovery in U.K. G.D.P. growth and inflation,” the bank said in a summary.

Sajid Javid, the chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the appointment of Mr. Bailey and praised his experience, making note of his work for the Bank of England during the financial crisis.

“It is a tribute to his integrity and character that he emerged from the most serious crash in living memory with his reputation enhanced,” Mr. Javid said.

Mr. Bailey will face a potentially tough challenge. The bank’s benchmark rate is already low, at 0.75 percent, leaving policymakers little leeway in case of a recession. And Mr. Carney himself has commented on the limits to what monetary policy can do in smoothing out the adjustment to the economy if Brexit does bring a severe shock.

The potential impact of Brexit on the City of London, the financial heart of the capital, would also be in focus, said Richard Portes, a professor at London Business School. It would be particularly wrenching if Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiates a trade deal that did not cover financial services. “I think that will take a lot of his energies and focus,” said Professor Portes.

The chancellor maintained that he wanted Mr. Bailey to “uphold vigorously” the independence of the bank.

“I think that it’s critical that the governor and indeed everyone working with the governor in the Bank of England is independently minded and the institution under the leadership of the governor makes whatever decision is necessary without any interference whatsoever from any government,” Mr. Javid said.

Mr. Javid also referred to Mr. Bailey’s record of increasing the diversity of the leadership at the F.C.A., a nod to the fact that Mr. Bailey takes over a homogeneous team at the Bank of England. All of the deputy governors of the bank are men, though the chief operating officer is a woman. There is only one woman among the nine members of the monetary policy committee, which decides interest rates.

“Under his leadership, he is committed to making the bank a more open and diverse institution,” Mr. Javid said.

Mr. Bailey studied history as an undergraduate at Cambridge University and earned a doctorate in economic history there. He worked as a research officer at the London School of Economics before joining the Bank of England in 1985. He rose through the ranks, becoming deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive of the prudential regulation authority in 2013.

In 2016 he took over at the Financial Conduct Authority, the main regulator for markets and financial firms, which has attracted some criticism for its handling of the firms it regulates. Some members of Parliament called for Mr. Bailey’s resignation earlier this year after London Capital and Finance, a firm selling risky investments, went into administration.

He also faced fierce criticism from lawmakers over the agency’s regulation of the flagship fund of Neil Woodford, a prominent stock picker, which ran into problems earlier this year and had to be closed.

Still, Mr. Bailey’s appointment will provide some continuity at the bank. “As far as monetary policy is concerned, the environment is rather uncertain and a lot depends on the form that Brexit takes,” said Professor Portes. “In the short term nothing will change.”

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