The Bank of England could name its new governor this week amid pressure to appoint a successor to Mervyn King before the Chancellor’s autumn statement.
Sir Mervyn has just over seven months to run before his second term ends on June 30.
But the Government is keen for the bank to announce its new boss before George Osborne’s statement on December 5, according to The Sunday Times newspaper.
The job is the one of the most powerful in Britain, with the Bank of England taking on extra responsibilities for banking supervision as part of an overhaul of financial regulation following the economic crisis.
The governor will have responsibility for setting interest rates, regulating banks and other financial firms and heading a new committee designed to spot and ward off future crises.
Deputy governor Paul Tucker is thought to be the favourite for the job – the only bank insider considered a front-runner.
But Mr Tucker was recently embroiled in controversy surrounding the Barclays Libor rigging scandal.
Emails between himself and former Barclays boss Bob Diamond emerged that appeared to show Mr Tucker sanctioning the bank’s efforts to manipulate its borrowing costs downwards.
But he survived a grilling on the issue by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee.
Other candidates are said to include Adair Turner, former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Sir John Vickers, former Office of Fair Trading boss who led the Government’s review into breaking up the banks, and Santander UK chairman Lord Burns.