Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane to leave after 30-year career

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3-min read
The Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, listens from the audience at an event at the Bank of England in the City of London, London, Britain April 27, 2018.  REUTERS/Toby Melville
Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, listens from the audience at an event at the Bank of England in the City of London, London, Britain on April 27, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

Andy Haldane is leaving the Bank of England after a three decade career at Threadneedle Street.

The Bank of England announced on Tuesday afternoon that its chief economist Haldane will step down after the June meeting of the monetary policy committee (MPC). Haldane will leave the bank to become chief executive of the Royal Society for Arts (RSA), one of the UK's most historic intellectual institutions. 

“The Bank is a fantastic institution and I loved my 32 years in public service there," Haldane said in a statement. "I will miss hugely my brilliant colleagues and friends but know that, under Andrew’s exceptional leadership, they will continue to serve the people of the UK with distinction."

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Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England's governor, said: “[Andy has] been an imaginative and creative thinker on the wide range of issues the UK economy faces, as well as helping create and drive forward new ways for the Bank to engage with the public. He will be sorely missed but I know the RSA will be well served by Andy as Chief Executive.”

Haldane joined the Bank of England in 1989 straight out of university after completing a master's degree in economics at the University of Warwick. He has worked on monetary analysis, monetary policy, inflation targeting and central bank independence.

He became chief economist at the Bank of England in 2014, the same year Time magazine named Haldane among the 100 most influential people in the world.

Haldane is known as one of the more bullish members of the nine-person MPC, which sets UK interest rates.

In July last year, Haldane argued the UK was on track for a "V-shaped recovery," clashing with other central bank policymakers at the time. His prediction proved too optimistic as the UK economy has struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Watch: What is a V-shaped economic recovery?

In February, Haldane said the UK economy was poised to bounce back strongly as COVID-19 vaccines were rolled-out widely and restrictions on everyday began to lift. He compared the UK economy to a "coiled spring". Haldane has warned in recent months that central bank complacency risked letting the “inflation tiger” out of the bag, suggesting interest rates may need to rise sooner than expected.

READ MORE: Bank of England economist says UK economy 'like a coiled spring'

Haldane said he was "thrilled" at the opportunity to run the RSA. The RSA is a London-based think tank committed to tackling social issues. Founded in 1754, it describes itself as "an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today's social challenges." Past members include Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Charles Dickens, Nelson Mandela, and Benjamin Franklin.

"For 250 years, it too has served society with distinction, combining the very best of public service, commercial innovation and civic participation," Haldane said. "I am delighted to be helping write the next chapter in the RSA’s illustrious history.”

Haldane said he would help lead the RSA meet a "historic moment" and address "new challenges from technology to longevity, from inequality to the environment."

“Meeting these new challenges will require new thinking, new policies and new partnerships between governments, industries and civil society, working in partnership," he said.

Haldane will succeed current RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor in September. Taylor, a former government policy chief under Tony Blair, has run the institution since 2006.

The Bank of England said it will advertise for a successor to Haldane in due course.

Watch: Andy Haldane: Bank's 'Michael Fish' moment