Sir David Lees, chairman of the Court of the Bank of England since 2009, has been re-appointed to the role, the Treasury announced on Friday.
Sir David’s term expired in May, but he has now indicated he will step down from Court at the end of 2013, once he has overseen the transition of the Bank’s new responsibilities and personnel (Sir Mervyn King, Bank governor, is due to step down mid-way through next year).
However, not everyone has the same level of confidence as the chancellor and the prime minister do in Sir David’s firm stewardship of what is expected to be the central bank with more sweeping monetary and regulatory authority than any other in the world.
The Bank has come under fire in recent years for its poor corporate governance, with parliament’s influential Treasury select committee among those calling for root-and-branch reform. For many critics, that includes the scrapping of the Court, which Treasury committee chairman Andrew Tyrie described as “a 19th-Century structure for a 21st-Century institution”.
It is not difficult to see why. Here is Sir David being questioned by Mr Tyrie as part of it inquiry into standards of corporate governance at the Bank on March 15, 2011: