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MPs in amendment bid to publish BoE minutes

The Treasury select committee has tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which would require the Bank of England’s court of directors to publish its minutes.

It comes after the TSC and the bank clashed over the committee’s request for it to release minutes from court meetings during the financial crisis. The bank said revealing the minutes would not allow space for private discussions in future but Tyrie said not releasing them was stopping the committee properly scrutinising the bank.

The amendment says: “After each meeting of the court, the bank shall publish minutes of the meeting before the end of the period of two weeks.”

The amendment would also require the bank’s court to retrospectively review the bank’s performance.

The TSC’s report on the bank’s accountability, published last November, said it will become a “super-regulator” after the regulatory shake-up and called for the court to be replaced with a modern supervisory board.

The bank rejected this, instead proposing an oversight committee to be set up under the court.

The TSC’s amendment says both the minutes and the court reviews could be temporarily withheld from publication if there are concerns over financial stability but they would have to be released as soon as the potential risks no longer apply.

The amendment is signed by all members of the committee except Conservative party deputy chairman Michael Fallon and Labour MP George Mudie. Fallon refused to comment and Mudie was unavailable.

Anand Associates managing director Bhupinder Anand says: “Any increase in accountability, especially for an institution as powerful as the bank will become, is always a good thing.”


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