Mark Carney, current head of the Bank of Canada, has been named as the new governor of the Bank of England.
George Osborne, British finance minister, announced the 47-year-old Carney as the new head of the Bank of England to parliament on Monday.
"I can tell parliament and the public that the next governor of the Bank of England is Mark Carney," the chancellor of the Exchequer told legislators.
'Simply the best'
Osborne described the chair of the global Financial Stability Board as "quite simply the best, most experienced and most qualified person in the world to be the next governor of the Bank of England".
"[Mark Carney] has got what it takes to help bring families and businesses through these incredibly challenging economic times"
- George Osborne,
UK finance minister
Carney will take over from Mervyn King, who has lead the BoE since 2003 and will step down on June 30.
He comes from outside Europe, but in his role at the FSB, Carney has been involved in dealing with some of the fallout from the global financial crisis and fighting the eurozone debt crisis.
Britain is not a member of the eurozone, but is deeply concerned that the thrust of European Union policies to reform finance threaten the city of London.
Osborne described Carney as "the outstanding central banker of his generation with unparallelled expertise in financial regulation" who has helped steer Canada through the global financial crisis.
Carney, who intends to take on British citizenship, will serve as BoE governor for a five-year term until the end of June 2018.
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"He will bring a fresh perspective," Osborne told parliament. "He has got what it takes to help bring families and businesses through these incredibly challenging economic times.
"My responsibility was to get the best for Britain, and with Mark Carney we've got that."
The announcement took markets by surprise as bookies favoured Paul Tucker, the current deputy governor.
Carney will succeed King, 64, under whose watch the British central bank played a vital role in stabilising world financial markets following the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.
The governor leads the Bank of England, an independent body which sets interest rates and has pumped out billions of pounds under its radical quantitative easing policy since 2009 in order to stimulate economic growth.
Carney takes the helm with the BoE due to take over banking regulation from Britain's Financial Services Authority next year, as part of a regulatory overhaul aimed at avoiding a repeat of the devastating financial crisis.
Aside from Carney and Tucker, other candidates in the running were believed to be Adair Turner, FSA chairman, Lord Terence Burns, Santander UK chairman, and John Vickers, who chaired the government's recent Independent Commission on Banking.