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Bank of England chief economist for OFT top job

The chief economist of the Bank of England John Vickers is to replace

controversial Office of Fair Trading boss John Bridgeman inthe autumn.

The new director general is currently chief economist and executive

director at the bank. He is a member of the monetary policy committee and a

fellow of the British Academy. He taught economics at Oxford University and

became Drummond professor of political economy in 1991.

Bridgeman came under fire from IFAs for advocating a blurring of

polarisation rules by suggesting investment advice should be depolarised.

The move would have effectively allowed multi-ties on investment products.

The report on polarisation, published last August, was also condemned by

consumer groups.

Bridgeman was also responsible for a review of private medical insurance

and brought sub-prime lenders to heel under the Consumers Credit Act.

Bridgeman welcomes Vickers&#39 appointment. He says: “I have a high regard

for his work. He will take over at a time when consumer issues are

achieving more prominence.”

Vickers says: “The Competition Act 1998 reshaped and updated competition

law, giving a wide range of new powers to the OFT. It has a challenging

agenda to make sure markets work well.”

Maddison Monetary Management managing dir-ector Mark Howard says: “Out

with the old, in with the new. Whenever someone new comes in they bring

fresh thinking and this can only benefit the industry.


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