By Ed Conway, economics editor

Mark Carney has issued an unexpectedly warm welcome to Facebook's new global currency.

He said tech companies and non-banks could soon be given access to the Bank of England's balance sheet, according them the same privileges as the big banks.

The Bank's governor said Libra, the digital currency Facebook unveiled earlier this week, could "substantially improve financial inclusion and dramatically lower the cost of domestic and cross-border payments".

But he said that he approached the currency "with an open mind but not an open door".

In what is likely to be his last Mansion House speech, Mr Carney said that in future non-banks could be allowed access to the Bank's balance sheet, allowing them to park money at Threadneedle Street overnight and potentially even borrow from the central bank.


This access is, at present, only accorded to registered banks, but Mr Carney said extending this access "can improve the transmission of monetary policy and increase competition".

Image: Mark Carney says Facebook's Libra could improve financial inclusion

While the decision remains subject to consultation, it will be seen as a major signal, indicating the Bank endorses the growing competition between established banks and giant tech companies attempting to muscle in on the sector.

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Facebook announced its Libra currency earlier this week, while Apple recently announced the launch of its own credit card.

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication at Libra Association Read More – Source


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