The chairman of a parliamentary committee has accused the Bank of England of "defective governance" after it published three reports on the financial crisis that he said failed to tackle how well the central bank performed.
Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury select committee, said the reviews were limited in scope and "fell well short of what is required" of a body that was at the heart of decision-making during the banking collapse.
"These reviews are a step forward. The Treasury committee will consider them carefully," he said, but "the Bank of England has yet to produce a comprehensive review of the Bank's role in, and response to, the crisis. The decision to commission these reviews fell well short of what was required."
The central bank commissioned three reviews of its conduct during the crisis in answer to criticism that it had failed to investigate what lessons could be learned to avoid a repeat of the debacle. Sir Mervyn King, the Bank governor, has rejected concerns that he and his officials mishandled the near collapse of Northern Rock in 2007 and underplayed the weakness of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, which needed a bailout a year later.
The Bank's monetary policy, which has involved pumping billions of pounds into the economy, has also faced severe criticism in some quarters, alongside its forecasts for inflation and economic growth.
Tyrie, who has already warned against King being handed extra powers to regulate the financial system without a more in-depth look at the Bank's procedures and culture, said two authors of the reports would appear before the committee to justify why a comprehensive review was rejected in favour of three discrete reports.
"A comprehensive review should already have taken place, not just to enable the Bank to learn from its past mistakes but also to inform the legislation currently before parliament," he said. "The fact that it took so long to obtain even these reports illustrates the Bank's defective governance."
One of the reviews examined how well the central bank provided emergency funds to banks following the bankruptcy of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers. The other two tackled the effectiveness of the bank's quantitative easing programme and its ability to forecast economic events.
In a series of mild rebukes, the authors said forecasting methods should be strengthened and the bank should look more widely for potential shocks to the financial system, especially dangers lurking in hedge funds and unconventional financial businesses.
Ian Plenderleith, one of the authors, who spent most of his career at Threadneedle Street, will appear before the committee with the former JP Morgan banker Bill Winters.
Tyrie said that despite some criticisms in the reports, he was concerned that the government planned to press ahead with radical proposals for regulatory reform, "giving the Bank of England an enormous increase in powers, without thinking through, in practice, who should be overseeing these bodies, and how".
He said: "That is why the Treasury committee has been pressing for changes to the financial services bill to improve the governance of the Bank of England."
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