Bank of England Loses Director to BP After Carney Revamp

Spencer Dale Quits BOE
Spencer Dale, who will become BP’s chief economist on Oct. 27, joined the BOE in 1989 and was on the Monetary Policy Committee for six years. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Spencer Dale, a 25-year veteran of the Bank of England, is quitting to join BP Plc, adding to a host of personnel changes since Mark Carney became governor just over a year ago.

Dale, 47, was chief economist under Mervyn King before becoming executive director for financial stability this year as part of an overhaul by Carney of the central bank. He’s the third of King’s senior officials to leave since Carney joined, following the departure of Paul Tucker last year and the retirement of Charlie Bean in June.

Dale, who will become BP’s chief economist on Oct. 27, joined the BOE in 1989 and was on the Monetary Policy Committee for six years. He moved two months ago to the bank’s newly empowered financial stability division, which is at the front line of the central bank’s push to contain risks from the housing market.

“It’s a big loss for the bank to lose someone of his stature,” said Richard Barwell, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and a former BOE official. “They’ve now got a key vacancy to fill at a key time on work to improve macroprudential policy and the Financial Policy Committee. It doesn’t augur well.”

Dale Replacement

The BOE in London announced Dale’s resignation in a statement today and said the recruitment process to find his successor will begin shortly. It will look both inside and outside the bank for Dale’s replacement.

Carney said that he played a “key role in ensuring that the Monetary Policy Committee operates as an effective policymaking body,” and brought “that same rigor to the Financial Policy Committee” more recently.

“As an architect of the MPC, we suspect Mr. Dale was brought on to the FPC to bring more structure to the processes and objectives of the BOE’s financial stability wing,” said Simon Wells, chief U.K. economist at HSBC Holdings Plc in London. “His departure is potentially a setback to Mark Carney’s strategic plan.”

BOE Reshuffle

Dale only started in his role as executive director for financial stability strategy and risk on June 1, when he swapped jobs with Andrew Haldane. The BOE gained new statutory powers to address financial stability as part of the government’s shakeup of the institution to prevent another financial crisis.

Carney’s reshuffle followed a review of the BOE by McKinsey & Co. and he presented it as a strategy to integrate operations as it absorbed the unprecedented authority over financial institutions. Top management changes included the appointment of Ben Broadbent as deputy governor for monetary policy and the creation of a new deputy for markets and banking, to be filled by Nemat Shafik.

Today’s statement also named Shafik and Paul Fisher to the board of the Prudential Regulation Authority, the bank regulation division of the BOE. Sandra Boss, a McKinsey director specializing in investment banking and risk, and Mark Yallop, currently U.K. CEO at UBS AG, will also join the board.

At London-based BP, Dale replaces Christof Ruehl who joined the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in July. As well as advising executives on global economic trends, the company’s chief economist is responsible for overseeing the Statistical Review of World Energy, an annual survey of global trends in energy reserves, production and consumption.

“Spencer’s deep experience in central banking and his communications and financial markets background will be invaluable as we look to understand the future of energy markets globally,” said Dev Sanyal, BP’s executive vice president for strategy.

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