THIS MORNING'S papers all mention the criticism aimed at the Chancellor by the head of the Bank of England.
According to The Financial Times, Mervyn King has criticised Gordon Brown for an unclear and “very informal” approach to choosing new members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee.
The Bank of England governor’s remarks to the Treasury select committee were the first public sign of the Bank’s irritation at the length of time the chancellor is taking to announce a replacement for Richard Lambert, who left in March to head the CBI employers’ organisation.
The sudden death last week of David Walton, another of the MPC’s four members appointed by the chancellor from outside the Bank, has left the MPC operating with only seven members instead of the usual nine. The quorum is six members.
King compared the “clear institutional arrangements for the setting of interest rates” with “areas where the institutional arrangements are not as clear, such as the appointment process for members of the committee.”
He said his concern was “the timing . . . It’s trying to find a mechanism for ensuring that decisions are taken in a timely way.”
The governor suggested some appointments had been rushed. Professor David Blanchflower, the latest MPC member, who attended his first meeting this month, told the MPs in May that his appointment had taken 10 days from initial approach to job confirmation and indicated the process had been hurried.
MEANWHILE The Daily Telegraph reveals, MPs and former members of the MPC have expressed concern there is too little transparency in the way the Chancellor picks members, and the Treasury Select Committee is planning to launch an investigation this autumn.
Appearing before the Committee yesterday, King also called for a timetable for guidance, adding: "There will always be vacancies when people leave unexpectedly and it is always right to take time and get the right replacement, but to do that we need a slightly more systematic process."
Responding to King's comments, Brown said: "[ Walton] was a very effective member. However, it would be inappropriate to draw general conclusions from what was the sudden death of a member of the Monetary Policy Committee."
HSBC WILL TELL staff to recycle more and stop printing out emails as part of a £100m investment in "green" measures over the next five years, reports The Guardian.
The bank will spend £35m in the first year on making its buildings more environmentally efficient and encouraging its 280,000 employees to change their behaviour.
Stephen Green, HSBC's chairman, said promoting sustainability would benefit the bank and there was increasing momentum driving environmental issues from clients and prospective employees.
But Greenpeace said the bank, which made £12bn profit last year, could afford to spend more on green initiatives to offset its carbon emissions. It also warned HSBC customers, the bank was likely to invest in companies that harmed the environment.
Craig Bennett, the charity's head of corporate accountability, said he welcomed the initiative but HSBC, along with all banks, needed to make greater efforts to restrict climate change.
Green also announced a push to advise clients on how to tackle climate change, while the bank's own efforts would range from investing in solar and wind power to encouraging staff not to print out emails. It removed all personal waste bins from its global headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London, this month, and the 8,000 staff there now use communal bins for recyclable dry waste and other bins for wet waste.
STANDARD LIFE INVESTMENTS has expanded its bond team with the appointment of Arthur Milson as investment director of fixed income, reports The Scotsman.
According to the paper he will move to the Edinburgh-based investment house from HBOS, where he was associate director in the bank's integrated and acquisition finance division.
Rod Paris, head of global fixed income at Standard Life Investments, is quoted as saying: "Arthur's appointment serves to underline our commitment to extending and deepening an already strong and talented credit research capability."IFAonline
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