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Women will be a majority on the Bank of England’s powerful Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for the first time in its 329-year history after the appointment of a new deputy governor.
Threadneedle Street said yesterday that Clare Lombardelli (pictured), chief economist at the OECD international think tank, will sit on the panel that sets interest rates from July.
Five of the nine MPC seats will be filled by women for the first time. Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The appointment sends a powerful message about the Bank’s commitment to gender equality and is a much-needed boost for female representation, especially at a time when concerns about sexism in the City abound.
“It is very comforting that for the first time there is a majority of women and it goes some way to correcting imbalances in other parts of the city.”
The other four MPC women are deputy governor for financial stability Sarah Breeden, London School of Economics professor Swati Dhingra, Megan Greene, a senior researcher at Brown University in the United States, and American economist Catherine Mann.
Key role: OECD chief economist Clare Lombardelli (pictured) will sit on the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting panel from July.
They sit alongside Governor Andrew Bailey, Chief Economist Huw Pill, Jonathan Haskel and Sir Dave Ramsden.
Alesha De-Freitas, head of policy at gender equality charity Fawcett Society, added: “It is excellent news that the MPC is now majority female, especially as the economics profession remains dominated by men.”
“Women will not only bring their enormous experience and knowledge working in economics, but they will also bring their lived experience in the economy, allowing them to make better decisions.”
The City is under fresh scrutiny after last year’s controversies, including scandals at the Confederation of British Industry, allegations against hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and the departure of BP chief executive Bernard Looney over “serious misconduct” in relationships with colleagues.
Lombardelli will lead the response to a report by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the Bank’s economic forecasts.
Formerly senior economic adviser to the Treasury and having worked at the International Monetary Fund, she will succeed Ben Broadbent as deputy governor for monetary policy.
Bank Governor Andrew Bailey said: “I am very pleased to welcome Clare Lombardelli back to the Bank.
She brings a huge amount of relevant experience and knowledge to the MPC, and the Bank as a whole, at a time of great importance for the UK economy.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “I am delighted to appoint Clare Lombardelli.
“Clare brings significant experience to the role addressing financial and economic issues both domestically and internationally.”