Former boss of Virgin Money Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia has been added to the Bank of England’s financial policy committee alongside the chair of the Banking Standards Board Dame Colette Bowe, chancellor Philip Hammond announced today.
The pair will replace Richard Sharp and Martin Taylor, who are stepping down at the end of the first quarter and second quarter respectively.
Following their addition the FPC will have three women among its members and 10 men.
Last year the Bank of England was caught up a sexism row after its deputy governor, and current FPC member, Ben Broadbent, described the UK economy as menopausal.
Gadhia was among those who criticised Broadbent’s language, which he later apologised for.
“Even before his words became headlines I felt offended,” Gadhia said.
In May the Treasury selected the only man on a five-strong shortlist to a vacancy on the Bank’s interest rate setting committee which has only one woman among its nine members.
Rachel Reeves MP, the chair of the business select committee, said it was “truly staggering that the Treasury has failed to appoint a woman to this role”.
The FPC focuses on monitoring systemic risks to the UK financial system. It consists of 13 members, six of them Bank of England staff, five external members, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority and a Treasury representative.
Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the Treasury committee, said: "The Treasury committee has expressed its concerns about the lack of diversity on the Bank of England’s policy committees. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, female representation on the FPC remains at under a quarter, and is 11 per cent on the MPC.
“The Bank and the Treasury must be open to people from different and diverse backgrounds to ensure that progress continues. The Treasury committee will continue to monitor this extremely closely.”
Hammond said: “The insight and experience that both Dame Colette and Dame Jayne-Anne bring will be valuable assets to the committee’s vital work.”
Gadhia, who was made a dame in the New Year’s honours list, was boss of Virgin Money from 2007 until its sale to the owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, CYBG, for £1.7bn last year.
She led the government’s review into equality and inclusion in financial services as the women in finance champion.
Colette was previously chair of communications regulator Ofcom and has held board memberships at Morgan Stanley Bank International and Axa Investment Managers and was executive chair of Electra Private Equity.