Chancellor Philip Hammond could be grilled by MPs on why many of the Bank of England’s senior staff are white and male.
The chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP, has written to Mr. Hammond to demand more is done to address the perceived lack of “diversity” among applicants for roles on the Bank’s policy committees.
“The Treasury must make all efforts to encourage as diverse range of candidates for the Bank’s policy committees as possible,” Ms. Morgan wrote, according to The Guardian.
“We have approved both appointments,” she said in the letter. “However, in considering these appointments, the committee discussed its wider concerns about the composition of the policy committees, and in particular about diversity at the most senior levels of the Bank of England.
“The committee would be interested in taking evidence from you (or the most appropriate minister or senior official) on this shortly.”
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The Bank’s nine-person Monetary Policy Committee has just one female member, as does the 12-strong Prudential Regulation Committee. There are no women on the Bank’s 11-member Financial Policy Committee.
Responding to Ms. Morgan’s letter to the chancellor, a spokesman for the Treasury said: “Our recruitment process is fair and open for senior appointments to the Bank of England but we recognise there is still more to do to improve diversity.”
The Chancellor is expected to write back to the Treasury committee in due course. The Bank of England declined to comment.
The Treasury Select Committee has also launched an inquiry into perceived barriers to women entering and climbing up in the financial services industry.
“More women than men are employed in the financial services sector, but female representation at senior levels has been historically low,” Ms. Morgan said.
“Gender diversity across job grades and functions delivers benefits to firms, society and the wider economy.”