May 28, 2018 / 7:59 PM / 3 months ago

Spain names Hernandez de Cos as new central bank chief

MADRID, May 28 (Reuters) - Spain’s government will put forward Pablo Hernandez de Cos as the next central bank governor to replace Luis Maria Linde whose six-year term will be coming to an end next month, the economy ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Hernandez de Cos, who now heads the Bank of Spain’s Economy and Statistics department, will serve as a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank, the body which sets the euro zone’s monetary policy.

Under Linde, who was named only two days before Spain requested a European bailout to prop up lenders crippled with bad property debts, the central bank came under fire for its handling of the banking crisis and has maintained a neutral stance on economic policy.

Hernandez de Cos, who is little known in Spain and has spent most of his career in the research department of the Bank of Spain, is not expected to substantially change this stance.

A former professor of Economics, Hernandez de Cos has been a member of several top Spanish and European fiscal and monetary bodies, including the Economic and Financial Committee which drafts decisions of ministers or heads of state and government of the euro zone’s 19 member countries.

He also served as an adviser to the European Central Bank, where former Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos will become deputy chief next month.

The economy ministry said in a statement the choice of Hernandez de Cos reflected the government’s aim “to make a decision based on the professional experience, independence and merit of the candidate”.

Hernandez de Cos must now be formally put forward by the economy ministry to the Spanish parliament, likely on Tuesday, before being formally appointed by a decision of the cabinet on Friday and taking office on June 8. (Reporting by Julien Toyer Editing by Peter Graff)

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