Bank of England's conduct and forecasting record to be investigated

The Bank of England's performance in recent years is to be subject to aseries of independent investigations, it was announced yesterday.

The ruling Court of the Bank has commissioned three separate reviews, the first to look at the central bank's performance at the height of the financial crisis in 2008/09, the second to investigate the general provision of liquidity to the financial sector, and the third to investigate the forecasting record of the Bank's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee. The court said that the purpose of the reviews is to ensure the Bank will learn from its performance in recent years. "It is important for the Bank to learn practical lessons from past experience in order to improve the way it operates in the future," Sir David Lees, the Court's chairman, said.

Sir Mervyn King welcomed the reviews, but the Bank's governor has been accused in the past by Parliament's Treasury Select Committee of resisting a thorough investigation of the Bank's conduct during the financial crisis.

The review of the Bank's role in the years 2008/09 will be conducted by Ian Plenderleith, chairman of the investment firm BH Macro. The inquiry into the Bank's liquidity provision framework will be conducted by Bill Winters, chief executive of the asset management fund Renshaw Bay. And the investigation of the MPC's forecasting performance will be undertaken by David Stockton, a former director of research at the US Federal Reserve.

None of the reviews, however, will investigate the Bank's performance in the years preceding the financial crisis, nor its governance structure.

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