A former member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee has launched a scathing attack on the current governor, accusing Mark Carney of failing to understand the UK economy.
Andrew Sentance, who served as an external member of the monetary policy committee (MPC) from 2006 to 2011, says the Canadian should be replaced by someone who is not foreign when he is due to step down from the role next year.
The economist spoke out as the MPC prepares to make its next deliberation on interest rates this week – with no change expected.
Mr Sentance – known as a hawk in monetary policy circles – has consistently argued that rates must rise from financial crisis levels, latterly to help cool inflation and stop higher prices damaging demand in the economy.
After its last meeting in May, the MPC cited a softening in the economy for its decision to leave rates on hold for fear higher borrowing costs would knock already-weakened growth.
Mr Sentance said the governor’s “lack of confidence with raising interest rates has been due to the fact he’s not familiar with the UK economy”.
He added: “I don’t think we should appoint somebody else from overseas.
“I don’t think having people who aren’t familiar with the UK economy jetted in would be a good thing.”
The Treasury is expected to complete a short-list of candidates to succeed Mr Carney this summer and make an appointment by the end of the year.
He is due to step down in June 2019 after leading the Bank since 2013.
Mr Sentance says his replacement must also be better at communicating policy, claiming Mr Carney’s forward guidance on rates had backfired, having braced borrowers and financial markets for rate hikes that have not happened.
He said he was backing Andrew Bailey – the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority and former deputy to ex-governor Lord King at the Bank of England – to succeed Mr Carney and admitted he would be “delighted” to be put forward himself.
Mr Sentance added he would “like to see a woman heading the Bank”, but said a lack of strong internal candidates being brought through the ranks made it unlikely in the short-term.
The MPC currently has only one woman on the nine-person committee.