Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney has said that he is ‘absolutely serene’ about the Bank’s preparations for the impact of the Brexit referendum result, during questioning by the Treasury Select Committee.
Mr Carney told MPs that the ‘timely, comprehensive and concrete’ measures implemented by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had been sufficient to ‘support, cushion and help the economy to adjust’ in the wake of the UK’s unexpected vote to leave the EU.
In August, the Bank cut interest rates to 0.25% – the lowest level in its 322-year history. The move – an effort to support house prices and the wider economy – was criticised by many for being unnecessarily aggressive and potentially hurting savers.
Defending the Bank’s decision-making before and after the referendum, Mr Carney said that he was ‘comfortable’ with the MPC’s judgment that ‘the referendum represented a risk to monetary policy, in other words to the stance of monetary policy’.
Some members of the Treasury Select Committee had been highly critical of Mr Carney for his pre-referendum warnings of the dangers of Brexit to the economy. However, Mr Carney defended his earlier statements and the Bank’s actions since the vote, which he said were designed ‘to help make the leaving of the EU a success as quickly as possible’.
He said: ‘This financial system, under the oversight of the BoE, sailed through what was a surprise to the vast majority of financial market participants.’