Jessica Fino 20 Oct 2017 10:17am

BoE lacks diversity warns Treasury Committee

The Treasury Committee has warned Philip Hammond that the Bank of England lacks diversity at the most senior levels

Nicky Morgan, the chair of the committee, wrote to the chancellor warning about the composition of the BoE’s policy committees, following the appointment of deputy governor Dave Ramsden and external member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Silvana Tenreyro.

Tenreyro is at the moment the only women on the Bank’s MPC, replacing Kristin Forbes.

Morgan told Hammond that the bank should prove that “all efforts” are being made to encourage as much diversity as possible, and asked for the publication of data about the applicants for MPC and Financial Policy Committee membership, including a breakdown by gender at each stage of the process.

The Treasury Committee said it would like “specific confirmation” that the recruitment processes would follow best practice for increasing the gender and ethnic diversity of representation.

The letter added, “In future, the committee expects to be provided, prior to its appointment hearings, with diversity data on the candidates applying to the associated position.”

The warnings follow the BoE governor’s disclosure of the bank’s gender pay gap earlier this week.

Mark Carney revealed that its gender pay gap is 21%, higher than the UK average of 19% but significantly lower than the financial services gender pay gap of 31%.

Carney said that the BoE is planning to publish the full details next month, however he decided to disclose the headline figures during a Treasury Committee hearing.

The governor explained that the BoE has been trying to be more diverse by using external recruiting, unconscious bias training, blind recruitment panels, recruiting from 40 universities instead of 10 and by not only recruiting economists – as this was a male-dominated profession.