Canadian banker Mark Carney has been named as the next governor of the Bank of England.
Chancellor George Osborne announced the appointment of Mr Carney - currently governor of the Bank of Canada and chair of the global Financial Stability Board - in a statement to the House of Commons.
He will take over from present governor Sir Mervyn King when his second five-year term of office draws to an end on June 30 next year.
As governor, Mr Carney 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.
The job is considered to be 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.
Mr Carney's appointment took many in the industry by surprise.
Speculation had been mounting that Sir Mervyn would be replaced by his deputy governor Paul Tucker.
Mr Tucker, from Codsall, near Wolverhampton, 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.
Mr Carney is the first governor in the Bank's history to be appointed after an open recruitment process, in which the role was advertised and candidates interviewed by a panel.
Mr Osborne said he had recommended Mr Carney to Prime Minister David Cameron, who in turn recommended him to the Queen for appointment.
The Chancellor told MPs that Mr Carney was "the outstanding central banker of his generation with unparalleled expertise in financial regulation".
"He will bring a fresh perspective," Mr Osborne told MPs. "He has got what it takes to help bring families and businesses through these incredibly challenging economic times.
"My responsibility was to get the best for Britain, and with Mark Carney we've got that."
Canadian-born Mr Carney, 47, intends to take on British citizenship to serve as governor for five years, said the Treasury
A panel including Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary to the Treasury, his deputy Tom Scholar and Court of the Bank of England chairman Sir David Lees sifted through CVs before interviewing candidates.