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Mark Carney extends term as Bank of England governor to June 2019

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has indicated he would stay on for an extra year beyond the five years he initially said he would serve.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney said back in 2013 that he would serve until 2018. Recent media reports offer conflicting versions of Carney's plans for his future. (Reuters)

Mark Carney will extend his term as governor of the Bank of England by a year.

In a statement posted Monday on the U.K. central bank's website, Carney said: "I would be honoured to extend my time of service as governor for an additional year to the end of June 2019."

"By taking my term in office beyond the expected period of the Article 50 process, this should help contribute to securing an orderly transition to the U.K.'s new relationship with Europe," he said. Article 50 of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty is the mechanism the U.K. government plans to trigger by the end of March to begin the process of leaving the EU.

The announcement came after several days of media reports speculating on Carney's future at the helm of the Bank of England.

When he took up his post in 2013, Carney said he would serve until June 30, 2018 with an option for three more years.

The Times of London reported Saturday, citing unnamed sources, that Carney was unlikely to take up that option, while the BBC had reported that Carney was leaning towards extending his term.

Carney told a parliamentary committee last week that his decision would be "entirely personal."

The governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008 to 2013, Carney said when he took up his position with the Bank of England that he would serve five years of the normal eight-year term because he wanted to limit his family's time away from Canada. He had indicated that he would make a decision on his future by the end of this year.

'Critical period'

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said he was pleased with Carney's decision to extend his term.

"This will enable you to continue your highly effective leadership of the bank through a critical period for the British economy as we negotiate our exit from the European Union," Hammond said in a statement.

As speculation grew over Carney's future, the British government on Monday offered strong support for him. Prime Minister Theresa May's spokeswoman said Carney has the prime minister's backing. 

Many of those who campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union have taken issue with Carney because of his stark pre-vote warnings about the impact of Brexit on the economy.

"If he does stay, it's got to be on basis that he's not the rock star banker who presumes to tell Scotland whether to stay and Britain which way to vote, but rather sticks narrowly to his brief," Conservative Member of the European Parliament and pro-Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan told the BBC.

Carney is due to hold a quarterly Bank of England news conference on Thursday.

with files from The Associated Press

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