- REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool
- Hostesses at an exclusive men-only black-tie charity dinner at London were allegedly repeatedly sexually harassed by guests, FT investigation claims.
- One of the lots auctioned off at the event was tea with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
- Bank of England says the lot was a re-selling of a previously auctioned offer, it was unaware it was being re-sold, and had no dealing with the Presidents Club or its organisers.
- Carney “deeply dismayed that such an event could take place,” BoE says.
LONDON – The Bank of England has distanced itself from the Presidents Club charity dinner, a glitzy business event in central London at the heart of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
The Financial Times on Wednesday published a bombshell account of the all-male event, attended by financiers, businessmen, and politicians.According to an investigation by The FT, women who were hired to be hostesses at the event were groped, propositioned and subjected to lewd remarks.
The report has caused shockwaves in British society, forcing Presidents Club organised David Mellor to resign from a government position and leading to calls for families minister Nadhim Zahawi, who attended in the past, to resign.
The scandal has escalated to such a level that the Bank of England has issued a statement distancing itself from the event. The FT reported that one of the lots up for auction at last week’s event was tea with Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
The central bank said it had “no contact at any point with the Presidents Club or any of the organisers of the even” and said the auction lot appeared to be a re-auctioning of an offer made at the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Bank of England said it has now withdrawn its offer.
The BoE added that Carney is “deeply dismayed that such an event could take place.”
Here’s the Bank of England’s full statement:
“The Bank of England wishes to reiterate that it was not aware of the Presidents Club Dinner and did not approve any prize for auction at the event. It has had no contact at any point with the Presidents Club or any of the organisers of the event.
“The Governor is deeply dismayed that such an event could take place.
“At the request of the previous Lord Mayor, the Bank agreed to donate a tour of the Bank to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal for their charity auction. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal works with businesses, local communities and charities to find solutions to some of London’s most pressing social issues.
“The Bank understands that the successful bidder in the Lord Mayor’s auction subsequently re-auctioned this prize at the Presidents Club Dinner. He did not consult or contact the Bank in any way before doing so. If he had, the Bank would have refused permission. The Bank has a clear policy on the charities with which it is associated and this does not include the Presidents Club.
“The unauthorised re-auctioning of the prize at the Presidents Club dinner was clearly against the spirit of the original donation.
“The Bank has therefore made clear that it has been withdrawn.”