Favourite for Bank role in lending pledge

The increasingly public battle for the Bank of England's top job hotted up yesterday as the favourite to become Governor pledged to do more to boost lending into the UK's credit-starved economy.

Deputy governor Paul Tucker's comments at a banking conference in Tokyo came hours after Lord Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, laid out a thinly disguised manifesto for the country's most powerful unelected role at the Mansion House.

Mr Tucker, at a banking conference in Tokyo organised by the Institute for International Finance, said: "There are no silver bullets. Of course there is weak demand for credit, but where we can remove impediments to the supply of credit we should do so."

Mr Tucker said he had been "pleasantly surprised" by the number of banks and building societies that had signed up to the Bank's £80bn Funding for Lending scheme in its first two months. "We observe the fall in funding costs that this has helped to bring about. I am reasonably confident this will be passed on to the real economy."

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