U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he has a strong field of male and female candidates to choose from among applicants to replace Charlie Bean as the Bank of England’s deputy governor.
“We’ve had a lot of applications for this post and from a lot of very good people,” Osborne said in an interview in Sydney yesterday. “We’ve got a good deep field,” which includes “men and women,” he said.
The make-up of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee has become problematic for Osborne, with BOE Governor Mark Carney saying in August that the absence of women on the rate-setting panel is “striking.” Bean’s departure is the latest in a shakeup at the top of the bank since Carney was appointed in 2012 and replaced Mervyn King in July last year. Jon Cunliffe, a career civil servant, succeeded Paul Tucker as deputy governor for financial stability in November.
“Charlie Bean is going to be a very hard act to follow as he’s been a brilliant monetary economist and a great deputy governor,” Osborne said while attending the Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. “I’m confident we will see a very, very strong replacement. I will appoint the best person for the job.”
Since the central bank was granted operational independence from the government in 1997, only four of the 33 people who have served on the panel have been women. The last was Kate Barker, who left in mid-2010.
Bean retires at the end of June and his replacement will serve a renewable five-year term, overseeing economic forecasting and analysis as well as the bank’s markets divisions. The deadline for applications for the job, which carries an annual salary of 258,809 pounds ($431,000), closed on Feb. 7.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates were carried out in London this month by a panel including Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury’s top civil servant, Treasury officials Sharon White and Dave Ramsden, and David Lees, chairman of the court of directors of the BOE. London Business School Professor Lucrezia Reichlin said in an interview with MNI this month that she had been shortlisted for the job.