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The Independent Online
The Bank of England is launching a recruitment drive to its supervision and surveillance division. Insiders insist it is part of an annual trawl for new personnel and, God forbid, has nothing with the Old Lady's handling of the Barings crisis.

The 300-person supervision and surveillance division is responsible for all banks in the City, foreign and domestic. It was shaken up on two occasions recently, firstly after the Johnson Matthey crash, when staff numbers were significantly augmented, and later after the BCCI fiasco, which lead to the appointment of specialist analysts andeconomists.

Following criticism of the Bank for failing to spot the crash early enough or to send in on-site auditors in sufficient numbers, the recruitment looks suspiciously like early preparations to bring in fresh blood.

Dr Stephen Covey, one of these new-fangled American "motivators", is set to visit England next month. His book, which is used by British Gas, Glaxo and Tesco, is described by President Bill Clinton as "one of three books every worker should read to dramatically boost the nation's productivity." One can hardly imagine what the other two are.

Blair Treherne Pollock, 27, the high-flying broker from Smith New Court capital markets, came down to earth with a crash this weekend. The enthusiastic pilot was staying at a grand country weekend and, after regaling guests with stories of his dashing airborne exploits, he kindly offered to take Mark Burges Watson of Fleming's Japanese equities for a spin in his two- seater Pitts Special bi-plane.

After looping the loop over Lincolnshire, he brought the plane in to land. Sadly a fierce cross-wind forced him to use too much force and the eight-year-old stunt plane crashed into the grass, breaking the landing gear and bending the propeller.

"It was one helluva thump," said Burges Watson, who drove the pilot back home to London. T-P, initially crestfallen by the crash, has quickly recovered his poise.

"I have decided to blame too many City lunches which have made me too fat and heavy," he explains. "The worst bit was having to take a lift home in a Flemings company vehicle."

Martin Davey, managing director of Cranswick, the animal feed and pork products company, faces a life-or-death struggle in May. The 40-year-old entrepreneur is playing amateur football for the local team Walkington in the Yorkshire County Cup, in the culmination of a fiercely fought battle.

His team beat the former cup holders with an emphatic 4-1 victory over the works team from Malton Bacon Factory, owned by rivals Unigate, so he is feeling confident of victory.