Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tucker Pushes Claim for Top BoE Job with a Pledge on Lending

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tucker Pushes Claim for Top BoE Job with a Pledge on Lending

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lynch

THE increasingly public battle for the Bank of England's top job hotted up today as the favourite to claim the role pledged to do more to boost lending into the UK's credit-starved economy.

Deputy Governor Paul Tucker's public comments at a banking conference in Tokyo came hours after Financial Services Authority chairman Adair Turner laid out a thinly disguised manifesto at the Mansion House for the country's most powerful unelected role.

Tucker, pictured, speaking at a banking conference in Tokyo organised by the Institute for International Finance, said: "There are no silver bullets. Of course there is weak demand for credit, but where we can remove impediments to the supply of credit we should do so."

The Deputy Governor, now an oddson favourite with the bookmakers to win the battle for Threadneedle Street, said he had been "pleasantly surprised" by the number of banks and building societies that had signed up to the Bank's [pounds sterling]80 billion Funding for Lending scheme since its launch two months ago.

"We observe the fall in funding costs that this has helped to bring about. I am reasonably confident this will be passed on to the real economy over time," he said.

If the FLS is successful, rate-setters on the Bank's monetary policy committee have said it would reduce the need for it to buy up gilts under its quantitative easing scheme of money printing. The Bank has bought up [pounds sterling]375 billion in bonds, but analysts are split over whether policymakers will pump in billions more next month.

Tucker's intervention marks his first public comments since applications to succeed Sir Mervyn King closed on Monday. But Lord Turner called last night for "creative ways forward which, as best possible, both increase resilience and support lending" in a radical pitch for the Governor's job. …

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