The Bank of England is under attack and now is a good time for it to examine its options, writes Shirley Skeel, before it, too, needs a rescue.
A long drop down from the grand corniced ceilings of the Bank of England, the small Scot, Brian Quinn, sizzled in his armchair, itching for a fight. It was being said his Governors job was on the line over the BCCI bank scandal. There were sniggerings of political interference, and cries from the Press condemning the stately Bank's 'delay' in shutting BCCI's doors.
These were no small allegations and Quinn, an executive director in charge of banking supervision, was not the kind to dodge them. But at the Bank of England, confidentiality is king. The Bank, he said curtly, had its reasons. The Press's notion of even a sniff of politics was sheer nonsense'. And if you wanted to call it a delay, you should just try being in the good Bank's shoes. 'We got what we got when we got it. And we did what we did when we did it,' Quinn snapped, referring to the secret Naqvi files that revealed the fraud at BCCI. 'And if you're asking me if I sleep at night, I don't have any trouble.'