The move marks a return to the Bank for the dual British-Belgian national Vlieghe, who was economic assistant to previous governor Lord Mervyn King. He left that post to work as a bond strategist at Deutsche Bank in London before moving to Brevan Howard, where he is a partner.
His appointment to the Bank’s nine-member policy committee, starting in September, comes as the debate around interest rates heats up. After more than six years of rockbottom rates at 0.5% ushered in by the financial crisis, some policymakers say the time to raise borrowing costs is nearing. Governor Mark Carney has told borrowers to start preparing for a rise and hinted it could happen around the turn of the year.
Outgoing policymaker Miles has not once voted for a move in either direction in interest rates in more than 70 policy meetings at the Bank, although he has one more vote to go next week. He used his final speech as an MPC member to indicate a rate rise was getting closer and he also rejected the “dove” label ascribed to him given his apparent support for monetary stimulus during his six years there.
Vlieghe, who has a PhD from the London School of Economics, takes over from Miles as an “external member” of the committee, one of four rate-setters appointed by the chancellor to bring in expertise from outside the Bank. He is appointed for an initial three-year term.
Carney, whose own tenure at the Bank began in July 2013 and will end in June 2018, welcomed Vlieghe to the committee.
“Jan’s insight, judgment and perspective will be invaluable to the committee in the coming years, and I very much look forward to working with him,” Carney said.
Osborne highlighted Vlieghe’s mix of public and private sector experience. He said in a statement: “Dr Vlieghe is an economist of outstanding ability who brings experience from his time at both the Bank of England and the financial services industry to the role and will be a strong addition to the MPC.”
Osborne has previously faced criticism for failing to appoint women to the policy committee and the Treasury said upon announcing Vlieghe’s appointment that it received 26 applications for the position, of which six were from women. The appointment last year of Nemat “Minouche” Shafik as one of the Bank’s deputy governors ended four years of an all-male MPC.
With this latest appointment the full list of MPC members from 1 September will be: Mark Carney (governor); Ben Broadbent (deputy governor, monetary policy); Minouche Shafik (deputy governor, markets and banking); Sir Jon Cunliffe (deputy governor, financial stability); Andy Haldane (executive director, monetary analysis and chief economist); and external members Kristin Forbes; Martin Weale; Ian McCafferty; and Gertjan Vlieghe.
This article was written by Katie Allen, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 28th July 2015 12.47 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010