Bank of England governor Mark Carney commits to curbing jargon to win back trust in “dreaded experts”

 
Rebecca Smith
Carney said that the more the Bank was understood, the more trusted it would be
Carney said that the more the Bank was understood, the more trusted it would be (Source: Getty)

Mark Carney has spoken of the need for the Bank of England (BoE) to cut back on technical language to win back public trust, saying “not everyone wants to be steeped in fan charts, modelling and stress testing”.

Speaking at a BoE inclusion event tonight, Carney said: “To communicate to both the City and the country, the salon and the suburb, we need to create content that engages different audiences. The problem is that they don’t teach you that in Grad school – or at least the ones where we traditionally recruited.”

The BoE governor said that as a central bank, it needs to be “understood, credible and trusted for our policies to be most effective”.

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“The more people can recognise themselves in us, the more we can stand in their shoes and speak their language, the more likely the Bank is to be trusted,” he said.

“Reflecting the diversity of the people we serve can reduce misperceptions that we are experts making esoteric decisions in an ivory tower for the benefit of others,” Carney added.

The BoE has faced scrutiny over its revised forecasts for the economy following the Brexit vote, and much-discussed criticism from the likes of Conservative MP Michael Gove. The justice secretary at the time famously said “people in this country have had enough of experts” ahead of the European Union referendum vote.

And in a nod to the wave of criticism, Carney said the highly technical language often used by experts can be at odds with how many people process information.

“Not everyone wants to be steeped in fan charts, modelling and stress testing,” he said. “Yet the decisions we take impact every UK citizen. How can they rely on us – the dreaded experts?”

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Carney also shared progress the Bank was making in making its recruitment more diverse. It has introduced aims to triple the proportion of women in senior roles to 35 per cent by 2020 and BAME employees in these roles to 13 per cent to 2022.

For its last graduate round, Carney said it hired from four times as many universities as a decade ago, two fifths of the 2016 intake were female and a quarter from a BAME background. Half studied economics.

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