Bank of England in the spotlight again over 'staggeringly high' expenses

Adam Forrest
Mr Carney says the Bank can't hold all its meetings in London: REUTERS

Bank of England governor Mark Carney and two of his closest advisers claimed more than £100,000 on travel costs in just three months, figures have revealed.

It comes just four months after the Bank was criticised by MPs over its “staggering” expenses for senior staff.

Mr Carney claimed £50,664 in expenses between March and May this year, according to the latest sums released by the Bank.

The central bank’s boss spent £49,876 on foreign business travel and a further £781 on car hire and taxis.

Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the influential Treasury Select Committee, has said the Bank’s expenses remain “staggeringly high”.

In June it was revealed that Mr Carney had expenses totalling £312,000 over the past two years.

It also emerged during a Treasury Select Committee hearing that external FPC members Donald Kohn and Anil Kashyap had spent £390,000 in travel expenses in a two-and-a-half year period.

This included more than £11,000 on one flight for Mr Kashyap from Chicago to London – a cost described as “staggering” by Simon Clarke MP. The Tory politician said had “disturbing echoes” of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

However the Bank’s chair of court, Bradley Fried, has also since sought to correct the revelation over the £11,000 flight taken by Mr Kashyap, claiming the cost in fact covered four transatlantic airfares and has now been amended on the Bank’s website.

The newly-released figures show that between March and May Mr Kashyap spent £22,266 on travel costs, including three return flights from Chicago to London.

His car hire and taxi costs added £337 on top.

Mr Kohn, the US-based FPC member, spent nearly £31,000 on his own travel, including three return flights from Washington to London. He spent another £595 on car hire and taxis.

Mr Fried told the Treasury Select Committee following the June hearing that the Bank would continue to “review and refresh” its travel and expenses policy and report back.

Ms Morgan said: “The Committee will keep a watchful eye on the review, and its impact on the Bank’s expenses.”

Mr Carney has already sought to defend the Bank’s spending, claiming in June the foreign travel expenses were justified.

He said at the time the Bank is the “world’s leading international financial centre and the most complex in the world”.

Mr Carney said the Bank was at the “top table” of key global meetings and added “we can’t have all of them meet in London”.

Mr Fried further attempted to defend the costs for Mr Kohn and Mr Kashyap, saying their expenses should be considered “in the context of their contribution to financial stability in the UK”.