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What has Mark Carney ever done for us?

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  • 07/11/2016
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Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney confirmed he will stay in his role until June 2019. We chart his time in office to date and ask, what has the Canadian glamour-puss achieved during a lively tenure?

November 2012

George Osborne announces Mark Carney will succeed Mervyn King as governor of The Bank of England (BoE).

July 2013

Carney officially takes over from King as Governor, but for a five-year term, instead of eight due to personal circumstances.


shutterstock_454402612November 2013

Carney shifts focus towards mortgage market to prevent five years of ultra-low interest rates and Osborne’s help to buy scheme from fueling housing bubble.

December 2013

Carney announces the UK will switch to using plastic banknotes from 2016, like the ones in his native Canada. He famously tests the plastic note by dipping it into a curry.

February 2014

Six months after forward guidance was launched – unemployment rate drops below 7%. Two years earlier than BoE expected. Carney signals the Bank will keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for at least another year.

This is the first of many times where Carney suggests changes to the interest rate are on the horizon.

May 2014

Carney warns housing market that it poses the biggest threat to Britain’s economic recovery as shortage of homes drives up prices.

June 2014

The Bank is given powers to control the size of mortgages. Carney hints at interest rates rising before the end of 2014.

September 2014

shutterstock_204136168Carney warns workers that they may face higher interest rates in spring 2015, before real wages rise.

The Conservative Government comes into power, replacing the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. In the Bank’s first announcement under the new government, interest rates remain unchanged at 0.5%.

July 2015

Bank of England says the UK is ‘moving closer’ to an interest rates raise. Carney suggests first interest rates rise since financial crash could come at the start of 2016.

November 2015

Carney signals interest rates are likely to remain on hold well into 2016, despite suggesting they would rise at the start of 2016, as he suggests the Bank may revert to alternative measures, e.g. tighter lending rules, to keep house prices under control.

February 2016

Responding to questions from MPs, Carney says policymakers in the UK could cut interest rates to zero if needs be but would avoid doing so.

The market begins to grow annoyed at Carney’s flip-flopping over the direction of interest rates.

March 2016

Carney steps into the debate over the EU referendum. He says a vote to leave could cause a credit crunch and higher interest rates for mortgages and business.shutterstock_421081036

April 2016

The Bank repeats its warning that Brexit would harm economic growth.

May 2016

The Bank warns for the first time that a Brexit vote could force Britain to enter recession.

Pro-leave campaigners express anger at Carney’s comments. Andrea Leadsom says they are an ‘incredibly dangerous intervention’. Carney hits back saying it is his role to protect the British people from financial risk.

June 2016: BREXIT

Carney calms financial markets by insisting Threadneedle Street will do all it takes to secure economic and financial stability.

As Cameron steps down, Carney says contingency plans by the Bank and Treasury will swing into action. Financial markets praise Carney’s swift action and calm manner.

30 June 2016

Carney says the UK is showing signs of strain in the wake of Brexit and suggests an interest rate cut to safeguard financial stability.

July 2016

Carney faces questions about whether he ‘peddled phoney forecasts’ about the risks of the Brexit result.

Two days later the Bank holds interest rates at 0.5% and says a rate cut is certain if economic situation does not improve over next month.

shutterstock_469405388August 2016

After months of hinting, the Bank cuts interest rates to a historic 0.25% low – the first cut in more than seven years. The move brings relief to borrowers but angers savers.

September 2016

Carney comes under fire from critics who claimed he overplayed the warnings on a Brexit vote for the economy.

Later in the month the Bank says it is open to another interest rate cut but says the best option would be to see if the economy can handle the initial shock of Brexit.

He reveals to an audience of children in Coventry that his nickname in school was “Carnage” and he isn’t the biggest fan of Craig David.

October 2016

Carney says the Bank will not take instructions on its policies from politicians. He made the comment in Birmingham as part of the Bank’s Future Forum and said it has become difficult for Threadneedle, as politicians continue to comment on its policies rather than its objectives.

Michael Gove slams Carney saying he lacks humility and is intolerant to criticism. He compares him to Chinese Emperor Ming and says Carney considers any criticism of his actions to be thought of as a crime.

25 October 2016

Carney says he is un-phased by the barrage of criticism he has received from the Conservative Government and it will not impact on his decision to stay or leave his post beyond 2018.shutterstock_94131574

31 October 2016

As the market grows impatient over Carney’s uncertainty over whether he is going to stay or leave his post, Prime Minister Theresa May gives her full backing to Carney and praises his actions for helping steer the UK economy through post-Brexit uncertainty.

Carney finally announces he will stay on as governor until Brexit negotiations are done in June 2019, adding an extra year to his original five-year term.

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