Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Brexit Criticism Unnerves BOE’s Overseers on Risk to Reputation

  • Governing body says overall risk profile has risen since vote
  • Unfavorable media coverage, QE expansion cited in risk review

The Bank of England has become more concerned about its reputation after a year of criticism centered on accusations it meddled in the Brexit vote.

In a review of potential threats, the BOE’s governing body said its “overall risk profile had heightened in the wake of the referendum result.” In particular, the Court of Directors said “the volume of unfavorable media coverage” since the June 23 vote to leave the EU had increased threats to its reputation, while the expansion of its quantitative-easing program in August had raised operational risks.

The BOE attracted criticism for its handling of the EU vote, with some lawmakers claiming it presented a negatively biased view and even calling for Governor Mark Carney’s resignation. Policy makers were also accused of jeopardizing their inflation target with their post-referendum stimulus boost and of employing measures that heighten economic inequality.

To help guide the U.K. economy through its divorce from the EU, Carney has said he’ll stay in office for an additional year to June 2019. In the minutes, BOE officials said they welcomed that decision. Court Chairman Anthony Habgood said it will be “a difficult period, requiring clear heads and objectivity but also experience and context.”

The comments were published in the record of the Nov. 4 meeting of the court released on Friday.

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