OTTAWA - Mark Carney was given a chance to finally, unequivocally squelch reports he might leave his post early. He was equivocally successful.
In his first public remarks on the issue Wednesday, the Canadian central banker denied — indirectly — he had been approached as reported by the Financial Times newspaper.
He seemed even less categorical when asked if he will commit to serving out his term in Canada, which runs to 2015.
"The report is not accurate," he said at a news conference in Ottawa when asked if he was approached as reported in the London-based newspaper.
The denial repeated language issued from the Bank of Canada Tuesday night, but Carney offered no more insight as to why the newspaper would say he was approached to run the United Kingdom's central bank.
The governor added he was focused on his responsibility as governor of the Canadian central bank and chairman of the Swiss-based Financial Stability Board.
Asked if he would commit to serve out his term, Carney responded:
"I'm absolutely focused on doing my roles, the most important of which is as governor of the Bank of Canada. It's a tremendous responsibility, it's an honour to have this position and I intend to fulfil it."
The answers left some wiggle room for the 47-year-old rising star of the international banking community, whose name was floated last year for the International Monetary Fund, a position that went to France's Christine Lagarde.
While choosing a Canadian for the head of a foreign central bank — particularly one with the prestige of the Bank of England — would be unusual if not unprecedented, the speculation further burnishes Carney's reputation.
In 2010, Carney was on Time magazine's list as one of the world's most influential people.
The Financial Times report offers several affinities that might lead authenticity to the article, including that Carney is a subject of the Queen, studied at Oxford, once worked in London with Goldman Sachs and has an English wife, Diana.
But the report, which appeared on the front page, also notes that Paul Tucker, the Bank of England's deputy governor for financial stability, remains the favourite to replace incumbent Mervyn King in June 2013.