(Bloomberg) — The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has had a limited range of views because of its lack of diversity, according to Ros Altmann, who lost out in a bid to join the panel in 2012.
A former director-general of Saga Group, which represents pensioners, Altmann is a long-time critic of the BOE’s loose policy and lobbied for officials to consider the impact on savers of its record-low interest rate. In 2012, she applied and was shortlisted for the post of external MPC member, a role that ultimately went to Ian McCafferty.
“I did make it clear at the interview that if they were looking for somebody who speaks the same as them and is from the same background, that isn’t me,” Altmann said in an interview in London. While she didn’t get any feedback on why she didn’t get the job, “I took the inference that’s who they were looking for,” she said. “I’m not saying at all that I was the best person for the role.”
The BOE has come under fire for suppressing diverging views, creating an atmosphere where challenges to policy couldn’t be aired and diminishing the quality of decisions. It’s also faced criticism on a lack of women at policy-making levels, a gender imbalance that persists even after the appointment of Nemat Shafik last month as deputy governor.
Altmann was speaking after a hearing at Parliament’s Treasury Committee, where she said there is “something of a danger of groupthink” at the BOE. “There is a difference typically between a male and a female perspective,” she said. “Finance is very male dominated.”