U.K. Lawmakers to Question BOE’s Vlieghe on Brevan Howard Role

Gertjan Vlieghe, the newly appointed member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee, will be questioned by lawmakers about a potential conflict of interest because of his role at Brevan Howard Asset Management.

The economist, who joins the Monetary Policy Committee on Sept. 1, will withdraw from any active interest in Brevan Howard, but will retain his rights to a share of future payouts, according to two people familiar with the matter. Andrew Tyrie, who chairs Parliament’s Treasury Committee, said it’s “essential” that policy makers are independent.

“The Treasury Committee will be seeking reassurance that Mr. Vlieghe’s business interests do not pose a conflict with his membership of the MPC when he comes for an appointment hearing in the autumn,” Tyrie said.

Vlieghe, who once worked at the central bank as an adviser to then-Governor Mervyn King, will serve an initial three-year term at the BOE.

The central bank’s code of conduct says policy makers “may not retain any directorship, trusteeship, advisory post or other interest, whether or not remunerated” if it could conflict with their MPC membership.

Vlieghe’s arrangement with Brevan Howard is consistent with the BOE’s requirements for personal financial transactions, one of the people said. Tyrie also said judgment should be used when applying BOE conduct rules to ensure the MPC can include a variety of expertise.

The BOE pointed to its previous comments on Vlieghe’s appointment and said its code of conduct applies to all MPC members and is “applied rigorously at all times.”

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