15/05/2014 09:22 BST | Updated 15/05/2014 09:59 BST

George Osborne Puts Second Woman, Kristin Forbes, On Bank Of England MPC

Fiona Hanson/PA Archive
Chancellor George Osborne attends the Lord Mayor's dinner to the Bankers and Merchant's of the City of London at Mansion House this evening.

George Osborne has welcomed American economist Kristin Forbes as a new member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the second woman appointed under his chancellorship.

Osborne said Dr Forbes, previously an economic adviser to US president George W Bush, would bring "huge ability & international experience to the UK".

Forbes' appointment to committee, which sets interest rates, comes after the chancellor had to fight accusations of a "Tory woman problem' as all his appointments to the nine man group had, until recently, been men. The Treasury has ultimate responsibility for approving the appointments of all the members.

In March, Osborne appointed his first woman to the committee, Dr Nemat Shafik, who has been serving as deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Forbes will be the second woman serving alongside Shafik on the committee.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in August, before the two women were appointed, that the gender imbalance was “striking” and that the Bank needed to nurture female talent.

Forbes was appointed to replace Dr Ben Broadbent, who has been promoted to be deputy governor of monetary policy, taking over from Charlie Bean next month. Dr Broadbent also said today that he did not see a housing bubble starting in Britain.

Forbes is currently Professor of Management and Global Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as one of the three members of the White House's council of economic advisers between 2003 and 2005, with main responsibility for international macroeconomic issues.

In a statement about Forbes' appointment, Osborne added: "Dr Kristin Forbes is an economist of outstanding ability with real practical experience of policy making. She will make an exceptionally strong addition to the MPC. It's a sign of the high regard in which the Bank of England and our monetary framework are held around the world that someone of Kristin's ability wishes to be part of them”.

Governor Carney was revealed by HuffPostUK last year to have piled pressure on Osborne to consider appointing female economists to the Bank's MPC.

See also: 11 Reasons The Bank Of England's 'No Housing Bubble' Call May Be Wrong

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