Monday 5 December 2016 6:29 pm

Mark Carney takes aim at so-called stateless companies, as he jumps to defend Bank of England policies

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking


The Bank of England governor has this evening launched an attack on so-called "stateless corporations", in a wide-ranging speech aimed at creating a fairer economy and tackling inequality.


Speaking at Liverpool John Moores University, Mark Carney called for stronger measures to confront inequality in order to stop more people turning their back on free market ideas and policies. Policymakers should address how income is distributed throughout the country, he suggested.

"Redistribution and fairness also means turning back the tide of stateless corporations," Carney said. "As the Prime Minister recently stressed, companies must be rooted and pay tax somewhere."

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Carney, who recently confirmed he would step down in June 2019, appears to be championing a new approach to globalisation and free trade, with a more inclusive kind of growth – although the speech was light on specific recommendations. Carney said this could not be achieved through the Bank of England acting alone.

"Long-run prosperity is not in the gift of central bankers," Carney said. "It depends on a much wider set of initiatives of our elected representatives, and ultimately, on the actions of the private sector."

The governor also jumped to defend the Bank's loose approach to monetary policy, which has been marked by low interest rates and quantitative easing. 

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He argued that if the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had not taken such measures in response to the 2008 financial crisis, real wages would now be £2,000 per year per worker lower and an additional 1.5m would be without a job.

Carney also hit back at suggestions rock-bottom interest rates unnecessarily hurt savers to help borrowers, arguing that few people held enough in savings to be adversely effected by low rates without also holding an asset, such as a house, which would have increased in value.

He said: "Has monetary policy robbed savers to pay borrowers? Has the MPC been Robin Hood in reverse? In a word, no."

The MPC voted in August to unlock a extensive stimulus package, including chopping the base interest rate to a historic low of 0.25 per cent.