Photographer: Niklas Halle'n/AFP via Getty Images

Carney Advances BOE Overhaul as Brexit, Trump Jolt World Order

  • Central bank names James Talbot head of global policy strategy
  • Bank reallocating resources as EU exit increases workload

The Bank of England appointed a new international director to lead the team responsible for its strategy toward European and global matters, part of Governor Mark Carney’s revamp in the wake of the Brexit vote.

James Talbot was promoted to replace Phil Evans as head of the International Directorate after Evans was put in charge of coordinating the BOE’s work on the U.K. exit from the European Union. He will report to Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability, and to the deputy governor for markets and banking. A spokesman confirmed Talbot began his new role earlier this month.

The appointment puts Talbot at the vanguard of the BOE’s efforts to navigate through the changing international order. Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the rise of populism in Europe and the ascent of China in Asia are upending traditional arrangements while new relationships and political norms are taking shape.

The central bank is looking to add to Talbot’s directorate, which was created in 2014 and advises Carney on global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Board. Last month, it posted ads for economists and managers in the division as it shifted personnel to its new EU withdrawal unit, set up after the referendum in June.

Shifting Resources

The BOE is shifting existing resources to handle Brexit-related work rather than adding staff. The EU withdrawal unit will operate on a so-called hub-and-spoke model, with a small team at the center drawing on employees from different parts of the bank.

That unit would have “a great deal to do, and most of it would have to done very fast,” according to the minutes of a September meeting of the Court of Directors, the BOE’s governing board. Carney told the meeting that the way the group was organized would have to “develop over time.”

Prior to his new position, Talbot was the Head of Monetary Assessment and Strategy Division. He was also involved in the U.K. central bank’s “Project Bookend,” which examined the implications of Britain leaving the EU, according to an article published last year by the Guardian newspaper.

He’s also led preparation of U.K. economic forecasts for the BOE’s Inflation Report, advised on macroprudential policy issues and managed the international analysis team. He was U.K. Alternate Executive Director at the IMF between 2008 and 2010.

Talbot will represent the central bank at international meetings if needed and will work with the successor to the current deputy for markets and banking, Minouche Shafik, who is leaving the BOE at the end of February. The government is searching for her replacement.

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