The Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane will leave the bank to become chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts.
After three decades at the central bank and seven years as chief economist, Haldane will succeed Matthew Taylor CBE who announced his intention to step down in December.
“I have loved my 30 years at the Bank of England, a great British institution, working with so many fantastic colleagues on so many crucial public policy issues,” Haldane said.
“I am now excited to be joining another great British institution, the RSA. My conversations with the RSA’s trustees and staff have confirmed a shared sense that this is an historic moment for our societies, with new challenges from technology to longevity, from inequality to the environment.”
Haldane served as a member of the bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and has consistently been a voice of optimism during the pandemic.
Last month he said he expected a “rapid-fire” recovery, drawing on the economics of coiled springs and crouching tigers.
In September Haldane said there was a risk that overly pessimistic views about the impact of the pandemic would hold back Britain’s recovery.
“Encouraging news about the present needs not be drowned out by fears for the future. Now is not the time for the economics of Chicken Licken,” he said, citing the tale of a bird who worries the sky is falling in after an acorn lands on his head.
“Andy has been an exemplary public servant over his more than three decades at the Bank… He has also been an imaginative and creative thinker on the wide range of issues the UK economy faces,” the BoE’s Governor Andrew Bailey said.
Haldane will step down from the MPC after its June meeting, taking up his position at the RSA in September.
Commenting on the announcement, ING developed markets economist James Smith noted:
“Haldane’s departure means the Bank of England is losing it’s major – and maybe only – current hawk. In theory, at the margin this tilts the committee towards a more favourable view on negative interest rates if more stimulus were needed, though we still think this is unlikely.
“Not only does the economic outlook look promising, but not all remaining MPC members appear convinced about the policy’s merits. Our view on the Bank of England is unchanged, and we think the most likely next move in interest rates is up rather than down, albeit this is unlikely to happen before 2023 at the earliest”.