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Next BOE governor could be another foreigner, Hammond says

[LONDON] The UK government is open to hiring another foreigner to lead the Bank of England (BOE) after Canadian Mark Carney leaves next year.

"We're going to cast the net as wide as we can," chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond said in an interview on Friday in Davos, Switzerland. "We want to get the widest possible pool of talent. The process will start later this year."

Mr Carney, the first non-British BOE governor, has twice extended his term to guide the economy through Brexit, and is now due to step down in January 2020. Mr Hammond's remarks may irritate those such as Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg and former BOE policy maker Andrew Sentance who have called for the next governor to come from closer to home.

Andrew Bailey, currently head of the Financial Conduct Authority, is considered the leading candidate from within the UK to succeed Mr Carney. BOE Chief Economist Andy Haldane and Santander UK chair Shriti Vadera may also be in the running.

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Foreign candidates might include Raghuram Rajan, the former head of India's central bank, or Singapore's Ravi Menon.

"We've got good UK candidates as well but we've established the principle that the Bank of England governor could be someone from outside the UK, so we want to cast the net as wide as possible and look at all the talent that's available," Hammond said.

Mr Carney last year fulfilled a promise to become British citizen that he made when took the job in 2013.