Treasury caves in to MPs on Bank scrutiny

THE GOVERNMENT caved in to demands from the influential Treasury Select Committee of MPs last night, agreeing to reopen a discussion on how to hold the Bank of England to account in its flagship financial services reform bill.

Andrew Tyrie MP, chair of the committee, withdrew an amendment that would require the Court of the Bank of England to publish extensive reviews of its decisions after the event in order to hold it to account.

Tyrie dropped the motion after Treasury minister Mark Hoban signalled that the government will implement the changes itself once the bill returns from a vote in the House of Lords.

Before Hoban indicated that a climbdown was on the cards, Tyrie had threatened to send “specialist advisers” into the Bank of England to scrutinise it on behalf of MPs – a position he could take up again if the Treasury does not make the concessions.

“We will not hesitate to do [so] if this legislation remains defective with respect to the Bank of England,” Tyrie said. “Sending in specialist advisers was a somewhat cumbersome route but that’s why it would be far preferable to improve this legislation so that such action... would not be necessary.”