UK lawmakers chide slow progress on diversity at top of Bank of England

by Reuters
Friday, 3 November 2017 00:01 GMT

A man wears a bowler hat outside the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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There are only two women among the 23 people serving on the BoE's main three policy panels

LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - British lawmakers said on Friday they were disappointed by finance minister Philip Hammond's slow progress at encouraging greater diversity at the highest levels of the Bank of England.

Parliament's Treasury Committee wrote to him last month to seek confirmation that "all efforts" were being made to boost diversity among the Bank's top brass.

Silvana Tenreyro of the Monetary Policy Committee and Sandy Boss of the Prudential Regulation Committee are the only women among the 23 people serving on the BoE's main three policy panels.

The Treasury Committee's criticism of Hammond was written before he announced on Thursday that banker Elisabeth Stheeman will join the Financial Policy Committee early next year.

Hammond had said he was content that the finance ministry's processes for hiring top BoE staff met the standards set by a government adviser on public appointments.

"The (Treasury) Committee is disappointed by the chancellor's response," said Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee and a former minister for women and equalities.

"He did not confirm whether 'all efforts' are being made by the Treasury to encourage as diverse a range of candidates as possible," she added, saying the finance ministry only "seeks to encourage" diversity in its appointments.

Asked about diversity in a BBC news interview on Thursday, Carney said the BoE was looking to lead by example.

"The big issue is the under-representation of women and minority groups in finance has a very, very long legacy and so we have to have maximum focus on this to turn it around - but it will take time," he said.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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