Economy

Treasury Committee raises concerns over Bank of England diversity

It follows the appointment of two new members to the bank's monetary policy committee (MPC), which has left only one female on board and raised concerns about a gender imbalance on the interest rate-setting body.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, has now written to the Chancellor asking for evidence that enough is being done to encourage gender and ethnic diversity in recruitment.

"The Treasury must make all efforts to encourage as diverse range of candidates for the Bank's policy committees as possible", Morgan said.

Responding to Morgan's letter to the chancellor, a spokesperson for the Treasury said: "We are pleased the Treasury committee has agreed to the appointments of Prof Silvana and Sir Dave".

"In the future, the committee expects to be provided, prior to appointment hearings, with diversity data on the candidates applying to the associated position". The Committee has asked the Treasury for its specific confirmation that it's recruitment processes are within this remit.

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

That seat had previously been filled by Charlotte Hogg, who replaced Minouche Shafik in February.

Sir Dave was asked earlier this week whether he thought a woman was equally capable of taking on his role as deputy governor of markets and banking. It's two-thirds male, one-third female.

"There's a live debate in the United States at the moment, about the behaviours of economists that plays into this that may be deterring women from applying".

As well as identifying barriers to women entering and progressing in the financial services industry, the inquiry will examine the value to financial firms of having greater gender balance across all job grades and functions. It is due to meet for its first evidence session next Tuesday.

The committee will focus on HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter and the progress made against it.

However, he admitted there was a gender pay gap at Threadneedle Street because "there's a lot more men than there are women" in senior roles.



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