Four new directors for Bank of England board

The creation of an official digital currency in Britain could increase the risk of a run on the banks in an economic downturn, an influential House of Lords committee has found.

The government is set to appoint four new non-executive directors to the internal court of the Bank of England, which acts as its supervisory board.

The new blood comes amid a period of intense scrutiny of the central bank’s decisions and mandate. Last week it revised its inflation forecasts and predicted a prolonged recession — to which Liz Truss, the Conservative leadership candidate, responded by indicating that she, like Rishi Sunak, her rival, would give ministers powers to override City regulators.

The Bank is independent of the government. Its Court of Directors meets every month to oversee internal matters at the Bank and has no influence over monetary policy or financial regulation. The non-executive directors are usually figures with a background in business or finance.

According to Sky News, the Treasury is set to appoint Lord Gadhia, a businessman; Soumen Das, chief finance officer of Segro; Sabine Chalmers, general counsel at BT; and Tom Shropshire, general counsel of Diageo. Nadhim Zahawi, the chancellor, has signed off on the appointments, Sky News reported. The Treasury did not comment.

Members of the Court of Directors are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the prime minister and the chancellor. The court oversees the Bank of England’s internal budget, personnel and governance issues and is split up into five sub-committees. Four members of the interest rate-setting monetary policy committee — Andrew Bailey, the governor, and Sir Jon Cunliffe, Sir Dave Ramsden and Ben Broadbent, the deputy governors — also sit on the court.

Present non-executive members include Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC; Baroness Harding of Winscombe, a former chief executive of TalkTalk; Sir Ron Kalifa, chairman of Network International, the payments company; and Diana Noble, former chief executive of CDC, the development finance company.

Last month the Bank said it would appoint David Roberts, a former chairman of Nationwide, as head of the court, beginning this autumn.