Andrew Bailey slammed as ‘out of his depth’ ahead of further interest rate hike

Andrew Bailey is the ‘worst Bank of England boss’ says Malone

If MPs, analysts and the public alike agree on one thing, it is that the BoE’s response to the cost-of-living crisis was inadequate, adding to the financial misery of households up and down the country.

Governor Andrew Bailey all but admitted as much at a Treasury Committee meeting last month, telling MPs there were “very big lessons to learn” after the Bank’s board failed to forecast the sustained pace of price rises.

Threadneedle Street has since agreed to review the way it makes its predictions, succumbing to pressure from Westminster, but there are many who believe an overhaul of leadership is required.

Samuel Mather-Holgate, an independent financial adviser at Mather and Murray Financial leads a chorus of brokers calling for Mr Bailey’s resignation. The results of a recent poll suggests nearly all readers agree with him.

It was last raised to 4.5 percent in May, and is widely expected to be put up again when the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) next meets on Thursday. It hasn’t been this high since the financial crisis of 2008.

The Bank’s chief economist Huw Pill – who also ignited public outrage recently and faced calls to step down after saying Brits “need to accept” they’re poorer – admitted their inflation projections had persistently “been too low”.

In its May forecasts, the Bank lifted its end-of-year inflation projection to 5.2 percent, up from the 3.9 percent it had predicted back in February.

A former banker for Goldman Sachs, Mr Pill added: “We are trying to understand why we have made those errors, interpret those errors in terms of the behaviour, and make an assessment in terms of how it will continue.”

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This is unlikely to be good enough for many, who see the Bank’s lacklustre response as directly responsible for soaring mortgage rates – as a typical two-year fixed rate creeps back above six percent for the first time since Liz Truss’s mini-budget fiasco, according to financial information service Moneyfacts.

In a new poll that ran from 12:30pm on Wednesday, June 14, to 8am on Tuesday, June 20, asked readers if they believed Andrew Bailey should resign after admitting to a series of mistakes.

A total of 1,862 readers responded, with a staggering 96 percent (1,794 people) answering “Yes”, his time in the role – which began with the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 – should come to an end.

Just three percent (52 people) came to his defence and answered “No”, with the remaining one percent (16 people) admitting they did not know.

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This result shone through in the comments below the accompanying article. Username Jack Hackett said: “He’s inept and out of his depth and needs to be replaced. There needs to be someone who shows leadership and decisiveness.”

User snowleopard agreed, writing: “It is proven that this man is not up to the job. He should resign.”

Some disagreed only to recommend an even harsher sentence. Username Tilly2000 said: “No he shouldn’t resign, he should be sacked immediately.”

A number of analysts are also critical of the drastic action by the Bank on Mr Bailey’s watch during the first 12 months of the pandemic. Threadneedle Street absorbed over £340billion in debt incurred over that time by the Treasury in its bid to stabilise the faltering economy. This, they say, opened the door to vast amounts of fraud and waste.

Governor Bailey also had his feet held to the fire over the impact of the BoE’s policy of quantitative easing – consisting of pumping money into the economy by buying Government bonds – over the past decade.

Economists have argued this laid the groundwork for the inflation surge experienced last year.

Following Mr Pill’s comments to the Treasury Committee last month, the group’s chair, Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin, wrote to the Bank asking to commission its Independent Evaluation Office to “undertake urgent work assessing the current effectiveness of the Bank’s forecasting platform.”

David Roberts, chair of the Bank’s oversight board, wrote back agreeing to the request. He said: “The Governor and I are currently working through how best to commission the review, including in due course the terms of reference and associated resourcing.”

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