Belfast Telegraph

Bank of England rate-setters: the ‘doves’ and ‘hawks’

With the Bank’s rate-setting panel in sharp focus, here is a snapshot of each MPC member and who is likely to vote for and against a hike.

The Bank’s nine-strong panel of rate-setters has hinted for some months now that an interest rate rise may be needed.

Here we look at the members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and who is likely to vote for and against a rate increase – the so-called hawks and doves, as they are known in financial markets.

:: Mark Carney, Governor:

The Bank’s boss has signalled repeatedly in recent months that a rate hike may be on its way, putting him firmly in the camp of those likely to vote for a hike.

He was one of seven voting to hold rates in September, with only two policymakers calling for a rise, but he was among those who believed an increase would be needed in the “coming months”.

He has been caught out before by signalling rate rises on the horizon which failed to materialise amid economic uncertainty, but the Governor is now expected to finally come good on his word.

:: Ben Broadbent, deputy governor for monetary policy:

Mr Broadbent has not made his position known since the September decision, but has suggested in the past that he would not be against a rise.

He said in August: “I think there may be some possibility for interest rates to go up a little bit.”

:: Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability:

Mr Cunliffe is potentially unlikely to vote for a hike, having said only last week that, while rates would need to rise at some stage in the next three years, the timing of a rate increase was a “more open question”.

:: Andy Haldane, chief economist:

This former dove surprised markets in June when he said rates might need to rise in the second half of 2017.

He has since confirmed his position, saying an increase would be “good news” for the economy.

::  Sir Dave Ramsden,  deputy governor for markets and banking:

The newest member of the MPC, Sir Dave has already put himself in the dove camp, suggesting Brexit-fuelled inflation is not damaging the economy.

Formerly an economic adviser to the Treasury, he also told MPs last month that he “wasn’t in the majority” among MPC members who saw the case for potentially removing some monetary stimulus in the near future.

:: Silvana Tenreyro, external MPC member

Another recently appointed policymaker, Ms Tenreyro has showed she is edging towards a hike, but stressed it was by no means certain, and dependent on economic data.

She also told MPs last month the impact of a “premature” rate hike on the economy could be a costly mistake to unwind.

:: Gertjan Vlieghe, external MPC member:

Mr Vlieghe appeared to switch camps in September when he suggested he was close to voting for a hike,  despite previously supporting record low rates.

While he is a possible hawk, he has also warned in the past over moving too early.

:: Michael Saunders, external MPC member:

Mr Saunders has voted for a rate increase since June and is set to repeat his call.

He said in August: “We do not need to be putting the brakes on so much that the economy weakens sharply.  But our foot no longer needs to be quite so firmly on the accelerator.”

:: Ian McCafferty, external MPC member:

Having joined Mr Saunders in voting for a rise since June, he is expected to make the same call once more.

He has said such a move would be “prudent”.

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