Belfast Telegraph

Sir Mervyn King given £10,000 portrait of himself as retirement present

By Jennifer Cockerell

Former governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King was presented with a £10,000 painting of himself as a leaving present when he stood down from the role.

Sir Mervyn, now Lord King, also received a £597 silver napkin ring and a £2,505 sculpture of German playwright and scientist Johann von Goethe when he retired on July 1.

The £13,000-worth of gifts were all paid for by the Bank of England, which is owned by the country. Three events were also held to mark his departure, which came to more than £10,000.

An evening reception on June 26 cost £4,672, while a £3,450 dinner was held the following day.

Another dinner was held on June 28 at a cost of £3,800, with the flowers and invitations for the three events coming to £1,501.

The information emerged following a freedom of information request from

The Bank of England insisted the gift of the silver napkin ring is normal for all departing senior directors.

The response said: "As with previous retiring governors, the bank commissioned a portrait of governor King, and presented him with a copy. This cost £10,000.

"In addition, the governor also received a replica bust of Johann von Goethe. This cost £2,505.

"These costs were met by the bank, with the approval of the court of directors."

Sir Mervyn, who was paid £305,000 a year as governor – a role he had held since 2003 – reportedly has a pension of £198,200 a year.

He was replaced by Canadian Mark Carney who became the first non-British citizen to govern the Bank of England in its 319-year history when he took over last month.

Mr Carney was chosen by Chancellor George Osborne to head the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

The appointment has made him the most powerful unelected official in the UK.


The price of a replica bust of Goethe, which was also a gift

Belfast Telegraph