Tuesday, June 25, 2024

11 Mervyn King
Governor and Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee - The Bank of England

King has navigated Britain's banking and monetary system safely through the credit crisis

Mervyn King is one of the FCI500 members whose overall position shows the Governor of the Bank of England punching higher than his country's national weighting would warrant on pure GDP or national financial asset terms. This reflects the influence of the popular poll (amongst 'GFCI' voters in particular) in the 'FCI500'. King's influence in the UK has extended beyond his role as defender of the currency, and his stance on monetary policy, where the combination of an desire to keep monetary policy 'boring', and with a reputation as a leaning to the hawkish side has been good for the UK's stability through the credit crisis.

Of even greater importance has been his stewardship of the 'lender of last resort' role of the Bank, and his refusal of funds to Northern Rock, precipitating an early run of the bank, and resolution of the incipient UK banking crisis at an earlier stage than, for example, happened in the US, where Bear Sterns was bailed out, with arguably greater calamatous consequences in the form of Lehman. In any case, the UK banking system, having been robustly recapitalised under his governorship is now coming out of the other side of the crsis, with strong results, as shown, for example by HSBC's doubling of profits in the first half of 2010.