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Bank of England to mull access for likes of Facebook's Libra

LONDON — Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is open to the idea of letting new payment services such as Facebook’s upcoming Libra hold funds with the central bank — something previously limited to commercial banks.

Carney is to tell an audience of bankers in London later Thursday it “makes sense to consider” whether new payment providers can hold funds overnight at the central bank.

According to a transcript of his speech provided by the bank, Carney will say “expanding access can improve the transmission of monetary policy and increase competition.”

News of the consultation comes days after Facebook, along with such partners as Uber, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, unveiled Libra, which is to launch next year.

Carney stressed the bank “approaches Libra with an open mind but not an open door.”

The Associated Press