LONDON – Bank of England governor Mark Carney announced Monday that he will extend his term in office by one year and stay in the position through June 2019, a decision that may help settle speculation about his future guiding Britain’s monetary policy.
In a letter to Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Carney said he was staying an extra year because he recognized “the importance to the country of continuity” during the U.K.’s negotiations to leave European Union.
The former Bank of Canada governor has played a key role in trying to manage the British economy and stave off a possible recession as the country prepares to exit the 28-nation bloc.
He announced plans to stay in his Bank of England post longer than his initial five-year commitment, but said he does not plan to serve a full eight-year term.
“I believed that five years would allow a reasonable time frame to remodel the Bank to reflect its new, much broader responsibilities, and to complete the most important elements of the domestic financial reform agenda,” Carney said.
“Since then, my personal circumstances have not changed, but other circumstances clearly have, most notably the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union,” he wrote.
The British government had earlier in the day offered strong support for Carney amid speculation about his future at the bank.
Theresa May’s spokeswoman said Monday that Carney, who became the Bank of England governor in 2013, had the prime minister’s full backing.
May has said she plans to trigger formal negotiations to leave the EU by the end of March 2017. If those negotiations take two years, the time frame spelled out in the bloc’s treaty, Carney would helm the Bank of England throughout the delicate talks.
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 potential negative economic impact of Britain’s exit, or Brexit.
Despite economic warnings from Carney and other senior figures, Britons voted in a June referendum to part ways with the EU.