The Bank of England’s newly-appointed deputy governor has resigned after coming under fire for breaking the Bank’s code of conduct by failing to declare that her brother worked for Barclays.
Charlotte Hogg offered a voluntary resignation last week, before insisting in a letter to Bank governor Mark Carney yesterday that she must step down from her post.
Her resignation letter was made public today, just moments after the Treasury select committee published a damning report stating that her “professional competence falls short” of the standards required to fulfil her role as deputy governor of the Bank.
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Writing to Carney and Anthony Habgood, chairman of the Bank’s Court, Hogg said: “Last week I offered you my resignation in recognition of the fact that I made a mistake in not declaring my brother’s work on the forms that the Bank requires. It has become clear to me that I should now insist.
“As I have said, I am very sorry for that mistake. It was an honest mistake: I have made no secret of my brother’s job – indeed it was I who informed the Treasury select committee of it, before my hearing.”
It was an honest mistake: I have made no secret of my brother’s jobCharlotte Hogg
She added: “But I fully accept it was a mistake, made worse by the fact that my involvement in drafting the policy made it incumbent on me to get all my own declarations absolutely right.
“I also, in the course of a long hearing, unintentionally misled the committee as to whether I had filed my brother’s job on the correct forms at the Bank. I would like to repeat my apologies for that, and to make clear that the responsibility for all those errors is mine alone.”
Her resignation comes after the influential Treasury committee, headed by Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, stopped short of recommending she be axed from her role.
But it said Hogg failed “over a period of nearly four years to comply with the code of conduct, despite numerous procedural reminders and opportunities to do so”.
Tyrie said today: “This is a regrettable business with no winners. Ms Hogg has acted in the best interest of the institution for which she has been working. This is welcome.
“It is also welcome that the Bank has responded immediately by announcing an internal review. The Bank’s governance is already in much better shape than it was a few years ago. It is something to which the governor and Court has been committed for some time. But there is clearly more to do.
The statement comes weeks after Hogg apologised to the committee for not formally disclosing that her brother, Quintin, was Barclays’ group strategy director, which could conflict with her work on the prudential regulation committee (PRC). She had not declared the family link on a number of occasions since joining the Bank as chief operating officer in 2013.
It comes after Hogg, who has been touted as a possible successor to Carney, told the Treasury committee at a hearing that she always declared areas of conflicts of interests and was compliant with all of the Bank’s codes of conduct because she helped to write them.
It prompted committee member John Mann to demand she steps down, saying that Hogg “has either lied to Parliament or she is grossly incompetent”.
In response to her resignation letter, Carney said: “While I fully respect her decision taken in accordance with her view of what was the best for this institution, I deeply regret that Charlotte Hogg has chosen to resign from the Bank of England.
“Since Charlotte joined the Bank almost four years ago, she has transformed its management and operations.
“Drawing on her extensive private sector experience and her unrelenting commitment to excellence, she has led a broad range of initiatives to build a more open and inclusive institution, to overhaul our IT systems, and to change fundamentally how the Bank develops, manages and rewards its dedicated public servants.
“Along the way, she has inspired countless colleagues at the Bank and attracted a new cohort of professionals to it.”
Carney said that Hogg had made the Bank “stronger, more diverse, secure and effective”.
“We will do everything we can to honour her work for the people of the United Kingdom by building on her contributions,” he added.
Despite accepting her resignation, the Bank did not think her mistake warranted a dismissal.
Hogg took up the role as deputy governor for markets and banking at the beginning of the month, overseeing the Bank’s balance sheet and sitting on the monetary policy committee, the financial policy committee, the PRC and the Court of the Bank of England. The PRC has direct responsibility for regulating banks, including Barclays.
While she performed her deputy governor duties on top of her role as chief operating officer, it is understood that these positions are likely to be carried out by two people in the future.
Habgood said that the Court accepted Hogg’s resignation with “deep regret”.
“In her time at the Bank, Charlotte Hogg has made a huge contribution in areas such as professionalising and modernising the management and operations of the Bank, leading the implementation of the strategic plan, championing diversity and driving forward the Bank’s understanding of key issues such as fintech and operational risk,” he said.
“No-one who knows her doubts her track record or her integrity. While Charlotte’s decision by any measure exceeds the standard that would be expected in the private sector or would be required under statute, it is understandable in the circumstances and she has taken it with the best interests of the Bank at heart.”
Charlotte Hogg’s resignation letter in full
Dear Mark and Anthony,
Last week I offered you my resignation in recognition of the fact that I made a mistake in not declaring my brother’s work on the forms that the Bank requires. It has become clear to me that I should now insist.
As I have said, I am very sorry for that mistake. It was an honest mistake: I have made no secret of my brother’s job – indeed it was I who informed the Treasury Select Committee of it, before my hearing.
But I fully accept it was a mistake, made worse by the fact that my involvement in drafting the policy made it incumbent on me to get all my own declarations absolutely right. I also, in the course of a long hearing, unintentionally misled the committee as to whether I had filed my brother’s job on the correct forms at the Bank.
I would like to repeat my apologies for that, and to make clear that the responsibility for all those errors is mine alone.
I have not shared confidential information or misused it in any way. I do not have any financial relationship with my brother and I am utterly committed to the safeguarding of confidential information and the separation of a home and work life.
However, I recognise that being sorry is not enough. We, as public servants, should not merely meet but exceed the standards we expect of others. Failure to do so risks undermining the public’s trust in us, something we cannot let happen. Furthermore, my integrity has, I believe, never been questioned throughout my career.
I cannot allow that to change now. I am therefore resigning from my position. I will, of course, work with you through any transition.
I joined the Bank in 2013 with a desire to serve an institution that plays a critical role in our economy and society.
As I look back on the changes of the last few years, I am very proud of what we have achieved together. I applied to be deputy governor for markets and banking believing I had the right experience, capabilities and attributes for the role, and felt very honoured to be offered the role. It has been a pleasure and a great privilege to work with you both and with the rest of my colleagues at the Bank.
I have huge respect for your commitment, the ethos with which you approach your roles and the capabilities you bring to them.