- Treasury Select Committee head Nicky Morgan seeks more diversity in the upper ranks of the Bank of England. Morgan writes to Chancellor Philip Hammond to make “all efforts to encourage as diverse range of candidates … as possible.” Numerous high profile women have left the bank in 2017, leaving it open to accusations of being a “Boys Club.”
LONDON – Nicky Morgan, the influential head of the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee (TSC), is taking aim at the Bank of England a lack of diversity in its upper ranks.
In an announcement on Friday, Morgan said that the TSC could in future refuse to ratify appointments to the Bank of England’s major policy committees – which are made by the Treasury – if greater efforts are not made to improve the number of non-male, non-white policymakers.
“The Treasury must make all efforts to encourage as diverse range of candidates for the Bank’s policy committees as possible,” Morgan said in a statement on Friday, having written to Chancellor Philip Hammond about the subject.
Morgan’s initiative comes after the TSC approved the appointments of two new members of the bank’s key ratesetting group, the Monetary Policy Committee – Professor Silvana Tenreyro, and Sir Dave Ramsden.
Gender diversity in the Bank of England’s highest ranks has suffered in recent months, following the departures of several female officials. MPC members Minouche Shafik and Kristin Forbes both left the committee at the end of their terms this year, while Deputy Governor Charlotte Hogg resigned her role in March after failing to declare that her brother works for Barclays, a potential conflict of interest.
Jenny Scott, a key lieutenant of Governor Mark Carney, and one of the bank’s executive directors also departed earlier this year.
These exits have left the bank vulnerable to accusations of being a so-called Boys Club – with only middle aged, largely white, men in its higher ranks. The TSC is now seeking to address that, with Morgan stating on Friday that the committee wants to be shown “a breakdown by gender of applicants at each stage” of the appointment process for senior BoE officials, such as members of the Monetary Policy Committee, and Financial Policy Committee.
Earlier this year, Governor Carney said that the Bank of England is committed to improving both diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, and education, but also “cognitive diversity.”
Morgan, who took over from long-serving TSC chairman Andrew Tyrie after the summer’s general election, has looked to stamp her authority on the role immediately, launching investigations into a wide range of topics, including proposed changes to UK listing rules designed to attract the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco to London.
Under her leadership the TSC is also, among other areas, investigating student loans, and RBS’ alleged mistreatment of certain business customers.