MPs call independence of hiring top City regulators into question

Tim Wallace
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THE Treasury Select Committee (TSC) today announced plans to hold an inquiry into the way Bank of England policymakers are appointed and into the independence of the Bank’s new financial policy committee (FPC).

MPs fear powerful new policymakers at the Bank may be appointed in an inconsistent way, potentially indicating the much-valued independence of the regulator is being undermined.

It comes after the TSC worried some FPC members have not taken sufficient interest in the independence their roles require, and after one member – Richard Sharp – revealed he had been a Conservative donor.

“The TSC has been concerned at developments which have raised questions about the independence of the FPC. These include: the non-renewal of a number of incumbent external members of the interim FPC, who had expressed independent views, to the statutory FPC; the de facto creation of a remit for the FPC by the chancellor’s letter to the FPC; and the delay in, and lack of certainty about, the FPC being given a time varying leverage ratio tool,” the TSC said in a statement.

Last week MPs clashed angrily over the appointment of the former London Stock Exchange chief executive Dame Clara Furse to the FPC, with one suggesting she was “amazingly unimpressive”.