Bank boss on a fact finding trip

Adam Posen, who sits on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy committee, was in Blackpool today to meet local members of the Federation of Small Businesses.'Adam at the Chequers Plaza Hotel in North Shore.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-10-2011
Adam Posen, who sits on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy committee, was in Blackpool today to meet local members of the Federation of Small Businesses.'Adam at the Chequers Plaza Hotel in North Shore. PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-10-2011

A BANK of England policy advisor visited Blackpool yesterday to gain an insight into life at the coalface in the town.

Adam Posen, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), is one of the people charged with setting interest rates.

He attended a meeting arranged by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) at the Chequers Plaza Hotel on Queen’s Promenade to talk about various issues with delegates.

He said: “This visit is really about a two-way conversation; we get to meet the people at the coal face and what the issues are that matter to them.

“What matters is that it isn’t just for show. I go on the road eight to 10 times a year, usually far away from London, to meet with various business people.

“It matters a lot to me that I can do this.”

Mr Posen’s job on the MPC involves a monthly two-day meeting on the first Wednesday and Thursday of every month to set Bank of England policy, along with irregular meetings inbetween.

The finance chief, also an adviser to the US Treasury, was one of the biggest advocates for the second round of quantitative easing recently announced by the Treasury.

The practice involves the Government buying bonds from banks in the hope the cash will be reinvested into the system and passed on to the likes of small and medium enterprises to help he economy grow again.

He added: “It’s really just trying to do the normal monetary policy job when rates are really zero per cent and the banking industry in a mess

“We’re only left with buying bonds

“The whole committee came around to the idea – when inflation is too low and growth is too low we need to act. We’re looking five years ahead and trying to make the right decisions.”

FSB regional chairman Gary Lovatt said: “The visit shows this Government is interested in the views of the people.

“This man has come out of his tower to see the guys on the ground and we got a clear view of what’s happening.”

Mr Posen’s visit included a meeting earlier in the day with the Downtown business group in Preston.

Each member of the MPC travels to regional areas throughout the year to gauge reaction to decisions an gain information for future policy decisions.