New BoE governor Mark Carney sends warning shot on interest rates

Incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Remember, interest rates can go up as well as down!

That - in rough terms - is the warning today from the man who takes over at the Bank of England next week.

Mark Carney also heads the Financial Stability Board, a global central banking watchdog, and he has been reporting in Switzerland today on continuing efforts to make the financial system safer.

But he also had some words which matter to anyone who borrows. "Without doubt," he told ITV News, "[they] need to manage their business for the possibility of a slight or material change in the level of interest rates," well as other investments.

To be clear, this isn't a signal about any concrete plans he may or may not have. It is simply a sensible reminder to those who already borrow or are considering a mortgage.

Interestingly, the outgoing governor Sir Mervyn King has told MPs today he thinks rates are "nowhere near" rising. This is probably the other side of the same coin, but Mr Carney is suggesting we should be prepared.