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Leigh-Pemberton, BOE Governor During Sterling Crisis, Dies

Former BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton
Robin Leigh-Pemberton became governor of the Bank of England in 1983 and retired 10 years later. Source: Bank of England via Bloomberg

Robin Leigh-Pemberton, who was Bank of England governor during Black Wednesday, has died at the age of 86, the central bank said.

Leigh-Pemberton became governor in 1983 and retired 10 years later, when he was succeeded by Eddie George. He died last night and the BOE will announce details of a memorial service in“ due course,” it said in a statement today.

The son of an aristocrat, Leigh-Pemberton was a landowner and farmer in Kent, England, and served as chairman of Kent County Council. Prior to his appointment to the BOE, Leigh-Pemberton, later Lord Kingsdown, was chairman of National Westminster Bank. He led the central bank during the pound crisis in 1992 that culminated in the currency’s expulsion from the Exchange Rate Mechanism -- the precursor to the euro.

“A tall, imposing and cheerful man, Robin had a talent for inspiring and persuading others to work for him,” said Mervyn King, who joined the central bank as chief economist in 1991 when Leigh-Pemberton was governor. “A born captain, he will be remembered with deep affection by the members of his team.”

King became governor in 2003 and retired this year. Current Governor Mark Carney said Leigh-Pemberton made a “substantial contribution to economic policy and the financial system of the U.K.”

“He will be fondly remembered by current and former colleagues at the Bank of England,” Carney said.

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