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ECB Nominates Nouy for Supervisor Job After EU Spat Over Gender

The European Central Bank named France’s Daniele Nouy as its pick to lead the region’s new bank supervisor, after a year-long spat over gender diversity highlighted the lack of women in top central-bank jobs.

“The Governing Council of the ECB has today nominated Ms Daniele Nouy for chair of the supervisory board of the new Single Supervisory Mechanism,” the ECB said yesterday in an e-mailed statement in Frankfurt. Nouy will appear before the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee of the European Union’s parliament on Nov. 27 to testify on the role, the ECB said.

Nouy, 63, emerged as the lead candidate after a career that encompassed almost four decades at the Bank of France as well as a stint as president of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors -- a predecessor of the European Banking Authority. Her nomination helps answer critics, led by the chairwoman of the committee of the parliament, Sharon Bowles, that there aren’t enough women in power at the ECB.

“Applications of female candidates are particularly welcome” for other upcoming jobs at the Single Supervisory Mechanism, ECB President Mario Draghi wrote on Nov. 15 to Bowles in response to formal questions. “This is in line with the ECB’s gender diversity policy aiming at increasing the share of female colleagues in high-level positions.”

Six Men

Last year, Bowles held up the process of appointing Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch to the ECB’s Executive Board on the basis that he isn’t a woman. The central bank is aiming to start supervision of euro-area banks next year, and is setting up a separate body under the Governing Council to administer the task. A deputy chairman of the Supervisory Board is due to be selected from among the existing six-man ECB board.

Nouy and Dutch bank regulator Executive Director Jan Sijbrand were the ECB’s only candidates, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Nov. 8.

Bowles, in an interview last month, signalled the parliament’s likely approval of the ECB’s selection.

“It’s almost a certainty that if a very good woman is put forward, all else being equal, the parliament will choose her,” she said.

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