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37/09

17 April 2009

Bank of England – Chair of Court

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve, under the Bank of England Act 1998, the appointment of Sir David Lees to succeed Sir John Parker as the new Chair of the Court of the Bank of England. This appointment is for a period of three years starting in June 2009.

The Chancellor said:

"I am delighted to announce Sir David Lees’ appointment as Chair of the Court of the Bank of England to succeed Sir John Parker when he steps down. Sir David has a wealth of experience that he will bring to this role, including as a previous member of the Court. His appointment is an important step in implementing the reforms to the Bank of England contained within the Banking Act 2009. The new Court, under Sir David’s chairmanship, will be responsible for ensuring that the Bank of England as an institution is able to meet the extraordinary challenges it faces in discharging its monetary stability and financial stability responsibilities.”

“I am extremely grateful to Sir John Parker for the significant contribution he has made to the Bank of England since 2004. During his tenure he has worked closely with his fellow Court members to conduct its business efficiently, and provided strong stewardship at a time when the Bank has faced unprecedented challenges and taken on new responsibilities.”

Notes for Editors

1. The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Its core purposes are to ensure monetary stability and to contribute to financial stability. The Bank of England is governed by a Board known as the Court. The role of the Court is to manage the Bank’s affairs, other than the formulation of monetary policy, which is the responsibility of the Monetary Policy Committee. Court’s responsibilities include determining the Bank of England’s objectives and strategy, ensuring the effective discharge of the Bank’s functions and the most efficient use of its resources.

2. Sir David Lees is currently Chairman of Tate and Lyle (1998-) and Deputy Chairman of Qinetiq (2005-). He has previously held a variety of roles, including Deputy Chairman of Brambles Industries (2001-2006), Non Executive Director and then Chairman of Courtaulds plc (1991-1998), Chief Executive and Chairman of GKN plc (1988-1996 and 1988-2004 respectively), Non Executive Director of the Bank of England (1991-1999), Chairman of the CBI Economic Affairs Committee (1988-1994). He originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He was appointed a Knight Batchelor in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1991.

3. The Banking Act 2009 seeks to formalise the current arrangements whereby a non executive director chairs the Court of the Bank of England. The role of the Chair of Court is of pivotal importance in the governance of the Bank. As well as chairing meetings of the Court and agreeing its agenda, the postholder must work closely with the Governor, fellow non executives and senior Bank officials, discussing governance and management issues on a regular basis. Under the Banking Act 2009, it is for the Chair of Court to appoint non executives to the new Financial Stability Committee within the Bank. They also take the lead in liaising with the Monetary Policy Committee in monitoring the latter’s procedures. The Chair is responsible for ensuring that the performance of fellow non executives is assessed on a regular basis and in supporting them to fulfil their role effectively.

4. This appointment is made by Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This appointment is for three years starting in June 2009. The Chair of Court receives remuneration of £30,000 a year plus expenses. The average time commitment is estimated to be five days per month.

5. Under the Bank of England Act 1998, a person is disqualified from being a non executive director if he or she is (a) Minister of the Crown; (b) serving in a Government department in employment of which remuneration is payable out of money provided by Parliament; and (c) a servant of the Bank of England.

6. This appointment has been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Sir David Lees has confirmed that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years and holds no other ministerial public appointments.

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