Quinn plans retirement from Bank

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Brian Quinn, the executive director of the Bank of England who was responsible for banking supervision, is to retire in February, nine months before his 60th birthday.

The Bank flatly denied suggestions that his departure was linked with the Barings collapse in February - though there was criticism of the supervision department in a report in the summer which led to the resignation of Christopher Thompson, one of its senior officials.

Mr Quinn's career as a senior executive in banking supervision and then as executive director in over-all charge has spanned three traumatic episodes in the Bank of England's recent history. They were the collapse of Johnson Matthey Bankers in 1984, when the Bank bought the company for pounds 1 to save the bullion market from panic; the collapse of Bank of Credit and Commerce International in 1991; and the Barings collapse in February.

A Bank spokesman said Mr Quinn had told Eddie George, the Governor, more than a year ago - before the Barings crash - that he would not be seeking a further term as a director when his present term expired in February 1996. The Bank was unable to say if Mr Quinn, a Glaswegian, was moving elsewhere, though there have been rumours that he is to become chairman of Celtic, the Glasgow football club.

The Bank said it was unusual for executive directors to stay on past 60, though there had been cases. All appointments to the court are for four years and Mr Quinn would have to stay until the age of 63 if he served another term.

Mr Quinn's post as executive director is to be filled by Michael Foot, head of banking supervision. Sir John Hall, who developed Newcastle's Metro Centre, and John Neill, chief executive of Unipart, become non-executive directors, replacing Sir Christopher Hogg and Professor Sir Roland Smith. Mervyn King has been reappointed an executive director.