Nemat Shafik takes on new Bank of England role

Egyptian-born economist Nemat Shafik will become one of the most powerful women in central banking when she takes on a newly-created role at Threadneedle Street

Nemat Shafik
Nemat Shafik

Egyptian-born economist Nemat Shafik will become one of the most powerful women in central banking when she takes on a newly-created role at Threadneedle Street.

Dr Shafik is leaving her post as deputy managing director of the IMF to become the first female deputy governor at the Bank of England since the departure of Rachel Lomax in 2008.

The job title, covering markets and banking, brings the number of deputy governors at the Bank to four. It comes after governor Mark Carney told MPs in November that the appointment of women to senior roles would be “central to our priorities in the coming years”.

Dr Shafik has been deputy managing director at the IMF since April 2011, overseeing work on countries in Europe, including Greece and Portugal, and the Middle East.

She is also responsible for the body’s one billion US dollar (£603 million) administrative budget and human resources for its 3,000 staff, and oversees its training and technical assistance for policy makers around the world.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said: “The fact that she is leaving us to take up such an important post is testimony to her broad command of policy issues, her superb leadership and communication skills, her global reputation.”

Dr Shafik served in the UK Department for International Development from 2004 to 2011, the last three years as permanent secretary. Prior to that, she was the youngest ever vice president at the World Bank.

Known as “Minouche”, Dr Shafik was born in Alexandria before attending university in Cairo and the US, gaining a masters’ degree at the London School of Economics and a doctorate at St Antony’s College, Oxford.

She has held a number of academic posts in the US. Dr Shafik joins a small but growing number of women at the top table of world central banking, following the appointment of Janet Yellen as chair of the US Federal Reserve, and Elvira Nabiullina at the Bank of Russia last summer.

She will begin her new role on August 1, immediately take on the highly-sensitive task of launching a root-and-branch review of how the Bank monitors markets, following allegations that some officials knew about alleged forex fixing.

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