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Canadian Head Of Bank Of England Impresses British Public
July 5, 2013
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Mark Carney attends a monetary policy committee briefing in London on Monday, July 1 (Photo: AP)

This week Mark Carney, the former head of the Bank of Canada, started his new gig as the Governor of the Bank of England - and it sounds like things are going well so far.

According to BBC News, Carney "appears to have impressed the markets, economists, and even a group of determined female protestors."

Those protesters were angry that no women are featured on British banknotes, following the decision to drop prison reformer Elizabeth Fry from the five-pound note and replace her with Sir Winston Churchill.

A petition demanding that women be represented on the currency has collected 33,000 signatures so far, and the group behind it has been asking for a meeting with the Bank of England since April.

Until this week, they had received no reply. On Wednesday, two days into his tenure as Governor, Carney said that Bank representatives would meet with them. He also promised that the Bank would look into the issue of women on banknotes.

"He has not yet confirmed that there definitely will be a woman on a banknote," said Caroline Criado-Perez, who organised the petition through Change.org.

"But there's definitely a shift in rhetoric, so that's really positive," she told the BBC. "He is clearly a smart guy."

Carney at the monetary policy committee meeting on Monday (Photo: AP)

Carney's become something of a celebrity in the UK since it was announced he'd be taking the reigns of the Bank of England.

His looks have been compared to George Clooney's, and his wife's views on things like tea bags.

She wrote a blog saying she objected to "individually wrapped tea bags" because of the waste they create. Needless to say, it's unwise to say anything negative about tea when you're in the British public eye.

Since starting on Monday, Carney also seems to be impressing the public with his work ethic - the media reported that he was in his office by 7 am on Monday morning, and that he had arrived there via public transportation (the London Tube).

It's also been a good week economically - the FTSE 100, a share index of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, rose 6 per cent from Monday to Friday.

UK economist Vicky Redwood says the good economic news is mostly coincidental - a result of positive reports from the UK and around the world.

But she also suggests that Carney has gotten off to a good start, and that may have influenced the markets as well:

"He persuaded the committee to take the first step on forward guidance, and that's an achievement. You can see his impact on the markets," she said.

Carney was in the red chair in 2011, where he talked to George about handling an economic crisis, and playing hockey (as a back-up goalie) with a former roommate who went on to play in the NHL:



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