Bank of England boss Mark Carney has claimed “staggering” expenses racked up by his advisers were justified as he revealed that his own bill has topped more than £300,000 over the past two years.
Mr Carney defended the Bank’s expenses policy after MPs slammed the Bank on Tuesday for splashing out close to £400,000 on travel expenses for two members of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), including more than £11,000 on one flight.
Mr Carney said the Bank was “stewards of these public funds” and added it was “right for the Treasury Committee” to question its expenses.
He confirmed his own expenses have totalled £312,000 over the past two years, but said this covered 52 trips including overseas central bank meetings.
“It’s a consequence of having to go to various meetings,” he said.
“It’s important to have the context in which the Bank operates – this is the world’s leading international financial centre and the most complex in the world,” he added.
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”.
“We’re in a position where members of the Bank of England chair these meetings – we lead these discussions,” he insisted.
It emerged during a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday that FPC members Donald Kohn and Anil Kashyap spent £390,000 in travel expenses over the past two-and-a-half years.
Simon Clarke MP, who sits on the powerful committee, said the figures were “staggering” and had “disturbing echoes” of the MPs’ expenses scandal.
The FPC members are based in the US and Mr Clarke said the £11,084.89 flight for Mr Kashyap from Chicago to London would leave his constituents “gobsmacked”.
Mr Kohn, meanwhile, spent £8,000 on a flight from Washington to London and £469 on taxis as part of expenses for a single meeting.
Mr Clarke also referenced a near-£100,000 Bank of England summer party, first disclosed by the Press Association last year.
The Tory MP said that, at that cost, it must have been “one hell of a party”.