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BOE Champagne Spending Surged in Year When Carney Replaced King

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of England spending on wine and champagne almost doubled in 2013, a year when officials held events and dinners to mark the departure of Governor Mervyn King and Deputy Governor Paul Tucker.

The BOE spent 7,990 pounds ($13,200) excluding sales tax on 756 bottles of wine and champagne, up 94 percent from 2012 when it bought 444 bottles costing 4,127 pounds, according to a response to a Freedom of Information request. The London-based central bank released a copy of the letter, dated yesterday, to Bloomberg News today.

No purchases have taken place in 2014 to date, the BOE said. The 2013 figure does not reflect consumption and the bank regularly buys stock for future use, a spokeswoman said today.

King retired from the central bank on June 30 and was succeeded by former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. The BOE held a drinks reception and two dinners to mark King’s departure at a cost of 13,423 pounds, according to previously disclosed information. He also received a 10,000-pound painting of himself as a leaving present, as well as a 2,505-pound bust of German politician and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and a 597-pound silver napkin ring.

Last year, the central bank also spent 9,165 pounds on two events to mark Tucker’s leaving in October, according to previously released information. He did not receive any leaving gifts from the BOE.

The central bank spent 3,840 pounds on 384 bottles of wine and champagne in 2011 and 3,510 pounds on 432 bottles the previous year, the bank said in its latest information release.

The BOE letter was addressed to an individual named Eamonn Patterson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Hamilton in London at shamilton8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net Andrew Atkinson, Francis Harris

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