Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney delivers a speech at the annual Mansion House dinner in London, Britain June 20, 2019. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has the support of Germany and France to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

European governments traditionally select the lender’s managing director as part of an unwritten pact that allows the US to select the president of the World Bank. While Carney was born in Canada he holds British and Irish passports.

The German newspaper reported that the governments of euro area’s two largest economies had already agreed some time ago to support Carney for the IMF. The decision was made in the expectation that Lagarde would be in the role until 2021, FAZ said, without saying where it got the information.

The IMF job has come up early after Lagarde was named to take over from Mario Draghi as President of the European Central Bank in November.

Carney’s tenure at the UK central bank is due to end in early 2020. It’s not clear if the Franco-German pact still applies, given the accelerated time frame. The BOE declined to comment on Carney’s behalf. Both Germany and France didn’t have an immediate response to the report when contacted by Bloomberg.

Lagarde has stepped back from her duties at the IMF, and her deputy, David Lipton, has been appointed as acting head in the meantime.

European governments would like to nominate a candidate as soon as possible, and support from Germany and France would clearly put Carney as the front-runner for the IMF, though he may still face rivals. Emerging markets have long argued they have a claim on the Washington-based job given the growing role they play in the world economy.

While further European candidates could still emerge, 54-year-old Carney’s resume is hard to beat. He has governed the central banks of both the UK and Canada, helped set regulation for global finance, worked inside the Canadian government, earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford and spent more than a decade at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.