May 31, 2018 / 8:19 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Does UK FCA's Bailey want the Bank of England's top job? No comment

(Adds detail, background)

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - The chief of Britain’s financial regulator Andrew Bailey on Thursday declined to comment as to whether he was interested in succeeding Mark Carney as the Bank of England governor, saying he had a big job to do already.

Carney will step down in June 2019, three months after the country’s scheduled exit from the European Union, and bookmakers rate Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as among the favourites to replace him.

But Bailey would not be drawn on his chances of replacing the Canadian, or whether he was interested in the job when asked about the governorship on BBC radio.

“I’ve got a very big job which I hugely enjoy,” he said. Asked if he would also enjoy being Bank of England Governor, he said: “I’m not going to comment on that, because it’s not for me to say.”

Prior to becoming head of the FCA, Bailey served as Deputy Governor at the Bank of England, responsible for Prudential Regulation. He had held a variety of other roles at the Bank, including Chief Cashier and the Governor’s Private Secretary.

Bailey has served as chief executive of the FCA, which regulates thousands of financial services firms, since July 2016, the week after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

He has supported calls for a transition period when Britain leaves the European Union next year, and on Thursday said that there was no reason why Brexit should lead to protectionism.

He also played down reported splits between the finance ministry, known as the Treasury, and the Bank of England over how Britain’s financial services industry should be regulated.

The Treasury was right to say that Britain could not be an “automatic rule-taker” in financial services, he said, and Britain had put forward sensible proposals.

“I work very closely with the Treasury and the Bank of England on this. Frankly, we all believe that the right solution in the future is to have open markets,” he said.

“This argument between the Bank of England and the Treasury has been somewhat overdone.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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