BoE appoints Buxton as director

Andrew Buxton, chairman of Barclays Bank, is one of two new directors appointed yesterday by the Bank of England. He will be the first serving chairman of a clearing bank to become a member of the court.

Alastair Clark, at present a deputy director of the Bank responsible for the Financial Structure area, will now become executive director of that division.

The duo replace Sir Jeremy Morse, formerly a chairman of Lloyds Bank, and Pen Kent, who are both retiring.

Mr Kent has been a noted troubleshooter for the Bank during his 35-year service, notably in launching the design of Crest following the collapse of the London Stock Exchange's proposed automated share settlement system Taurus four years ago.

Mr Buxton is a scion of the 20-odd Quaker families that originally founded what became Barclays Bank. He joined Barclays in 1963 and worked his way to the top. He is also chairman of the CBI's influential Economic Affairs Committee and chairman of the Overseas Project Board at the DTI.

Mr Buxton faced criticism in the press and around the City when he combined the jobs of chairman and chief executive at Barclays in 1993, after the resignation of John Quinton as chairman. This combination of roles went against the Cadbury Committee recommendations, and coincided with a rocky time for Barclays as a huge property lending binge in the late 1980s ended in bad debt provisions.

This criticism turned to praise in 1994 when Mr Buxton appointed Martin Taylor as chief executive. Mr Buxton earned further plaudits when the Bank of England called for help to try and rescue Barings, the merchant bank struck down by Nick Leeson's unauthorised trading losses.

Although the rescue package put together by the Bank was unsuccessful, Mr Buxton's leadership in co-ordinating support for the attempt will have done him no harm in the Bank's eyes.

In addition yesterday the Bank announced that two directors have been reappointed for further four-year terms: Mrs Frances Heaton, a director of Lazard Brothers, and Sir Chips Keswick, chairman of Hambros Bank.

John Footman, the Secretary of the Bank and the Bank's chief press officer, will succeed Alastair Clark as deputy director in the financial structure area. Mr Footman will be succeeded by Peter Rodgers, at present financial editor of The Independent. As Secretary of the Bank, Mr Rodgers will take over Mr Footman's responsibilities for press matters.

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