Outgoing Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King says Jane Austen may replace Charles Darwin on the £10 note.
In his final appearance as governor, Sir Mervyn said the author was "quietly waiting in the wings" to replace Darwin.
But he said the final decision would be down to his successor Mark Carney.
Sir Mervyn said Austen was the leading candidate to become the next figure on the £10 note, having previously been a reserve choice.
Apart from the Queen, the only other women to appear on British banknotes are Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry.