What is astonishing about the case of Charlotte Hogg, who has been forced to resign from the Bank of England, is not that she failed to declare her brother’s employment at Barclays when she joined the Bank in 2013 as chief operating officer – anybody can make errors when filling out forms – but that nobody else at the Bank apparently noticed or cared.
Quintin Hogg has worked for Barclays Investment Bank (formerly Barclays Capital) in senior positions since 2006. According to his LinkedIn entry, he has been responsible since 2010 for, among many other things, “responding to . . . PRA driven changes”. PRA stands for the Prudential Regulation Authority, which is part of the Bank of England and, on his sister’s promotion to deputy governor this month, she became a member of its main committee.
The City of London, though bigger and more diverse than it used to be, is still a world where everybody knows (or at least has heard of) everybody else. It’s the Bank of England’s job to know who does what in the City. It is inconceivable that some people in its senior echelons didn’t know about Hogg, Q. But nobody bothered to check that Hogg, C had made the proper declarations about potential conflicts of interest.
Hogg’s father was a Tory cabinet minister; her mother is a Tory life peer and former head of the Downing Street Policy Unit; her grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides were Tory ministers. You don’t question the credentials of somebody like that or their understanding of the rules. If she had been a provincial oik from a less illustrious family, the paperwork would have been checked exhaustively.