Bank critic Jenkins out in shake-up of finance watchdog

 
Ben Southwood
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THREE members of the Bank of England’s financial policy committee (FPC) were yesterday replaced with three newcomers in a major shake-up at the watchdog.

Dame Clara Furse, Richard Sharp and Martin Taylor were appointed to the body tasked with stopping financial crises, in the place of Alastair Clark, Michael Cohrs and noted supporter of tough capital regulations Robert Jenkins. Donald Kohn, already an external member of the FPC, was reappointed in his role.

Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement responding to a question in a Treasury Select Committee (TSC) grilling yesterday.

“One of the reasons for the financial crisis was that no one felt it was their responsibility to monitor risks to the system as a whole, like excessive levels of debt,” Osborne said. He argued the FPC, with the high quality candidates who were being appointed, could fill those role and bear responsibility for systemic risk.

Andrew Tyrie, who chairs the TSC, asked Osborne if the decision not to reappoint Jenkins had anything to do with his reputation as a fierce critic of banks, who has argued for tighter capital regulation. But the chancellor said that other appointees including Taylor shared Jenkins’ views on capital regulations. The Treasury says the FPC’s remit is to “protect and enhance financial stability by identifying, monitoring and addressing systemic risks to the UK’s financial system,” and it will gain powers to do this from 1 April.

It has held meetings for the past 18 months with only an advisory role. The committee is staffed with 11 members – the governor, his three deputies, the executive director for financial stability (currently Andy Haldane), the head of the financial conduct authority (currently Martin Wheatley), four external members and a Treasury observer.

THREE IN, THREE OUT, IN FINANCE WATCHDOG SHAKE-UP


DAME CLARA FURSE
FORMER LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE CHIEF

Furse will be the first woman in a high profile Bank job since Kate Barker left in 2010.

RICHARD SHARP
EX GOLDMAN SACHS

Sharp spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs, as part of a 30 year career in banking.

MARTIN TAYLOR
FORMER BARCLAYS BOSS

Taylor was Barclays boss between 1993 and 1998, and WHSmith chair 1999 to 2003.

MICHAEL COHRS
EX HEAD OF DEUTSCHE BANK INVESTMENT ARM

Cohrs co-headed Deutsche Bank’s investment arm 1995 to 2010, leading it to prominence.

ROBERT JENKINS
FORMER CREDIT SUISSE ASSET MANAGER

Jenkins was chief investment officer and head of asset management at Credit Suisse.

ALASTAIR CLARK
BANK OF ENGLAND INSIDER

Clark has held various senior executive and advisory roles at the Bank since 1997.

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