The deadline for applications to be the next head of the Bank of England, the U.K.'s top monetary authority, has closed close with one of the leading contenders deciding not to pursue the position.

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell Monday told the Financial Times Monday that he did not apply for the top job.

A high-level panel will now review the applicants' qualifications for the position. The new head of the Bank will set interest rates and money supply policy for the U.K. and will join Ben Bernanke of the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and President of the European Central Bank in helping the world recover from the global financial crisis.

The frontrunners are thought to include deputy governor Paul Tucker and head of the U.K.'s City watchdog the Financial Services Authority chairman Adair Turner.

Current governor Mervyn King plans to retire in June, 2013.