Economist Poloz tapped to lead Canada's central bank

The Bank of Canada on Thursday named an economist and longtime bureaucrat, Stephen Poloz, as its new governor, succeeding Mark Carney who is leaving to head the Bank of England next month.

Poloz has worked in Canada's public service for 25 years, including since 2011 as chief executive of Canada's export credit agency, which helps Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business.

"Mr. Poloz has significant knowledge of financial markets and monetary policy issues and extensive management experience," David Laidley, chair of the bank's search committee said in a statement.

"We are confident Mr. Poloz will make an outstanding contribution to the work of the bank and uphold its reputation as a leading central bank."

Poloz starts his new job on June 3, for a seven-year term.

A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Poloz graduated from Queen's University in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in economics, and subsequently received a master's degree and a PhD in economics, both from the University of Western Ontario.

He worked for Canada's central bank in the past, occupying increasingly senior positions from 1981 to 1995, including as chief of the bank's research department.

He then spent five years with Montreal-based BCA Research before returning to the public sector.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pointed to Poloz's decades of experience in financial markets, forecasting and economic policy, to say: "I am confident he has the skills and experience required to lead the Bank of Canada at a time of global economic uncertainty."

Poloz said his appointment as the central bank's ninth governor was both "an honor and a privilege."

During his term, Carney lowered the bank's key interest rate to a near record low of 1.0 percent -- where it still stands -- in hopes of keeping the Canadian economy afloat during the worst global economic and financial upheaval in a century.

Poloz signalled an intention to stay the course on monetary policy.

"The global economy still has its fragilities or issues that it faces, so we aren't out of the woods yet, and Canada will feel all of those shocks as they occur," Poloz commented.

"But I think the framework that we work with here has proved itself very well and so I think we're well equipped to press forward," he said.