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Bank of England’s No. 2 to visit Cumbria

Sir Jon Cunliffe

[O]ne of the most influential voices at the Bank of England will visit Cumbria next week.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Bank’s Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, in effect joint number two to Governor Mark Carney, will address a Cumbria Chamber of Commerce lunch in Kendal on Friday.

He sits on the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee and also the Monetary Policy Committee, which voted by 6-3 last month to keep the Bank’s base rate at 0.5%.

Sir Jon is known for his forthright views.

He warned at the weekend that escalating trade wars, strains in emerging markets and a Chinese credit crisis could combine into a “painful” experience for the UK economy.

Businesses will be interested in his take on Brexit given that, before joining the Bank of England in 2013, he was the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union and before that adviser to David Cameron on Europe and Global Issues.

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s a vital part of our role at the Chamber to bring influencers and movers and shakers to Cumbria, and few are more influential than Sir Jon Cunliffe.

“It will be fascinating to hear his thinking on where the UK economy is going, the trajectory for interest rates and inflation, and his insight on Brexit given his experience as our most senior diplomat in Brussels.”

He added: “It’s important that Cumbrian businesses hear what he has to say, but it’s even more important that he hears what they have to say. This is an opportunity for Cumbrian businesses to make their voice heard.”

Sir Jon was one of the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee to vote against a rate rise in June but many commentators expect an increase at the August meeting taking the base rate above 0.5% for the first time since 2009.

An increase in the base rate leads to higher borrowing costs for businesses and individuals, including dearer mortgages.

Rob Johnston said: “We agree with the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to leave interest rates on hold.

“Growth remains sluggish and businesses are struggling to contend with rising costs, many of them government-imposed such as the above-inflation increase in the National Living Wage and the doubling of auto-enrolment contributions.

“With the Brexit negotiations casting a shadow across the economy, this isn’t the time to add to businesses’ costs and deter investment by raising interest rates.”

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