London/Zurich — Mark Carney’s embrace of the future of finance is setting the three-century-old Bank of England (BoE) apart from policy makers around the world.

The BoE governor is starting consultations on allowing new payment providers to hold reserves at the central bank. Granting access to ventures such as Facebook’s libra would be a significant change — at present, only commercial banks can place their deposits at the BoE overnight...

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