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Bank of England regulator Sarah Breeden named as next deputy governor


Bank of England regulator Sarah Breeden named as next deputy governor By Reuters

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Published Aug 01, 2023 14:58
Updated Aug 01, 2023 17:35

© Reuters. A general view of the Bank of England (BoE) building, the BoE confirmed to raise interest rates to 1.75%, in London, Britain, August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska/File photo

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) -Bank of England regulator Sarah Breeden will become the central bank’s next deputy governor for financial stability when Jon Cunliffe’s term ends later this year, Britain’s finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Breeden will be one of four deputy governors at the BoE, and will serve on its interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) as well as two key supervisory bodies, the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and the Prudential (LON:PRU) Regulation Committee.

“She will bring a wealth of financial and economic policy knowledge to the role, both domestically and internationally,” Governor Andrew Bailey said.

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt said Breeden brought “extensive experience” to the role.

The BoE’s biggest current challenge is returning inflation to its 2% target from its most recent reading of almost 8%. Breeden will also be in charge of the BoE’s work on a central bank digital currency and regular stress tests of Britain’s banks and wider financial sector.

Breeden, who will start her new role on Nov. 1, already serves on the FPC and is the central bank’s executive director for financial stability strategy and risk.

Simon Wells, chief European economist at HSBC (LON:HSBA), said little was known about Breeden’s views on monetary policy, but he did not expect her to shift the balance on the MPC, where Cunliffe has always voted in line with the majority on rates.

“While her expertise lies mainly in supervision and macroprudential policy, we doubt a BoE lifer would become a trailblazing dove,” Wells said.


Breeden joined the BoE after university and has spent most of her career in financial stability or markets roles, including heading the BoE team responsible with other government agencies for winding up Northern Rock, Britain’s first major bank failure during the 2007-08 financial crisis.

Early in her career she drafted the BoE’s advice to the then finance minister, Gordon Brown, over the sale of much of Britain’s gold reserves between 1999 and 2002, at what turned out to be near the bottom of the market.

More recently, Breeden has been responsible for the BoE’s work on financial risks posed by climate change, as well as supervising foreign banks operating in Britain at the time of the Brexit referendum and subsequent transition period.

Cunliffe joined the BoE in November 2013, serving two five-year terms as deputy governor after spending most of his career as a finance ministry official and just under two years as Britain’s ambassador to the European Union.

Breeden will take the number of women on the nine-member MPC to four, the most since it was set up in 1997. She will be the first female deputy governor since Charlotte Hogg in 2017.

Hogg only lasted eight weeks after lawmakers criticised her failure to declare a possible conflict of interest. Hogg’s predecessor, Minouche Shafik, left halfway through her five-year term to head the London School of Economics.

The British parliament’s Treasury Committee – which will review Breeden’s appointment – has regularly raised concerns about the low number of women in top roles at the BoE and in finance more widely.

Bank of England regulator Sarah Breeden named as next deputy governor

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