Buy bicycles! BofE's low-tech disaster recovery plan mocked
11 July 2012 | 9060 views | 7
As disaster recovery plans go, it's certainly novel: The Bank of England allegedly contemplated buying up to half-a-dozen bicycles so that its officials could navigate around a riot-gripped City in the event of a full-scale financial meltdown.
The disclosure was made by the ex-City minister Lord Myners at a parliamentary debate on financial regulation in the wake of the Libor scandal.
A former member of the court of directors of the central bank, Lord Myners was questioning the wisdom of Coalition plans to pass control of financial regulation from the Financial Services Authority to the Bank of England.
"When I was a member of the court, I sat in on a meeting of the financial stability committee it would have been 2006 or 2007. One of the governors at that meeting proposed that as a mechanism to cope with crisis, the Bank should buy half a dozen or a dozen bicycles in order that members of the Bank could move swiftly and anonymously around the City."
He added: "This tells you a huge amount about where the Bank sits in terms of its understanding of the complexity of financial markets."
Finextra verdict: A low blow from Lord Myners, and certainly not justified. Here at Finextra Towers we're slightly ashamed at even giving the remarks the oxygen of publicity. But the eccentrically British idea of a fleet of heroic bowler-hatted central bankers rolling out of Threadneedle Street on their bicycles as the City goes up in flames in a last-gasp bid to save the day was just too hard to resist.