Belfast Telegraph

Bank of England chief updates Prince of Wales on 'how we're running this place'

A "tremendous amount of mistakes have been made at this table", Bank of England Governor Mark Carney joked as he sat down with deputies in his historic office for a private briefing with the Prince of Wales.

Flanked by Bank deputies including Minouche Shafik and Ben Broadbent, the heir to the throne received an overview from Mr Carney on "how we're running this place".

The group discussed recent market and policy developments at a table rumoured to have been in use by every Bank Governor since 1795.

It was part of Charles' first visit to the Bank since 2002, and his first tour of the premises since 1979 - a moment that was commemorated in newspaper clippings and a photograph displayed on the Governor's desk during the visit.

Charles was invited by Mr Carney, who last visited the Prince of Wales at Clarence House in February.

His Royal Highness received a second private briefing at the end of the tour, sitting down with the Governor and staff, who spoke to Charles about the risks of house price inflation and cyber-security.

The visit was intended to "recognise and celebrate the Bank's mission to promote the good of the people of the UK by maintaining monetary policy and financial stability", according to Clarence House.

Charles entered the Bank's front hall to a 20-foot Christmas tree harvested from a farm in Oxfordshire, before moving through to the Garden Court and into Mr Carney's office.

He was welcomed by applause as staff lined the corridors and balconies to greet His Royal Highness and the Governor.

A group of school children from Virginia Primary School in Tower Hamlets were set to receive a tour of the Bank of England Museum on Wednesday, but had the chance to speak briefly to Mr Carney and Charles as they passed through the displays.

Mr Carney told the children about the gold bar that they would be seeing during their own rounds of the museum.

The Prince of Wales was later taken into the gold vaults for a private tour where around 400,000 bars of gold worth over £100 billion are stored.

"It's great that he (Charles) came into the museum ... it's a wonderful opportunity for the children," museum manager Laura Daniels said.

In the Bank's basement, the Prince of Wales met with scholarship students and Bank staff, including employees charged with reducing the Bank's environmental impact.

Charles also had the chance to speak with members of the Bank's diversity network, which included representatives from LGBT+ and minority organisations.

Cat Hines, a mentor for the Bank's women's programme and a private secretary for the executive director of human resources, said it was a "continuing challenge for any organisation" to bring women into senior roles, but good steps were being made.

"We're getting there," she added.

Chief operating officer Charlotte Hogg and Bank deputy governor Minouche Shafik "are examples of how women can achieve in the organisation. We're seeing increased representation at our senior levels", Ms Hines said.

When Cameron Westwood, a member of the Bank's LGBT+ and Allies Network, was asked whether the Bank might ever have a gay or black Governor, he told media: "Let's see what happens when the Governor decides to step down."

The Governor announced earlier this year that he will step down from his role in June 2019.

Mr Carney originally committed to a five-year term with the option of another three years, but decided to extend it by one year to cover the expected period of EU negotiations after Brexit is formally triggered.