Wires

UPDATE 3-Britain starts search for next Bank of England governor

William Schomberg and Huw Jones

* UK seeks successor to Canadian Carney

* Carney to step down at the end of January

* Appointment expected to be made in autumn (Adds detail, background)

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond began the search for a new governor of the Bank of England on Wednesday, seeking someone to help steer the world's fifth-biggest economy, and its global financial centre, through the upheaval of Brexit.

Mark Carney, a Canadian, twice extended his term in charge of the British central bank as the country headed for the exit from the European Union. But he has ruled out a further delay even though Brexit remains up in the air.

"Finding a candidate with the right skills and experience to lead the Bank of England is vital for ensuring the continuing strength of our economy and for maintaining the UK's position as a leading global financial centre," Hammond said in a statement.

Carney took up his role on July 1, 2013, and will step down on Jan. 31, 2020.

Hammond thanked Carney for helping to lead the UK economy through "a challenging period and we are now seeing stable, low inflation and the fastest wage growth in over a decade."

Hammond said earlier this month he hoped that concerns about Brexit would not deter potential applicants for a role with an annual salary of 480,000 pounds ($620,000) and a term of eight years.

The recruitment process has been designed to ensure that the most qualified candidate is appointed from the broadest possible pool of applicants, the finance ministry said.

Potential candidates include former BoE deputy governor Andrew Bailey who is now chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, a markets regulator, and current top officials at the BoE including deputy governor Ben Broadbent and chief economist Andy Haldane.

Raghuram Rajan, who was governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016, and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund between 2003 and 2006, declined to comment when he was asked this month whether he would consider a return to active policymaking.

The Treasury appointed a recruitment firm, Sapphire Partners, to help the search, the first time it has sought external help to find a BoE governor.

A Treasury official said the appointment of recruiters would help ensure the widest pool of candidates for the job.

The Treasury was aiming to conduct interviews for the job over the summer before making an announcement in the autumn.

Hammond is due to appear before parliament's Treasury Committee at 0815 GMT and is expected to say more about the recruitment process. ($1 = 0.7739 pounds) (Reporting by Huw Jones and William Schomberg Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Keith Weir)