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Carney spent almost £100,000 on final Governors’ Day party

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

The Bank of England’s outgoing boss Mark Carney spent nearly £100,000 on a summer bash for staff in his last Governors’ Day party before handing over the reins.

Details revealed by the Bank showed Mr Carney partied with almost 2,500 staff and their families at the annual event on July 14, which was held at its plush sports ground in Roehampton, south-west London.

It marked the last such Governors’ Day shindig for Mr Carney, who is leaving in mid-March and passing the baton on to recently-named successor Andrew Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Figures from the Bank show £96,189, excluding VAT, was spent on this year’s Governors’ Day on July 14 – up from £95,674 in 2018.

It forked out £52,294 excluding VAT on food and drink for the party and just under £30,000 on family entertainment, plus nearly £2,000 for equipment and more than £12,000 on “other” expenses.

Details of the party spending comes after the Bank was rocked by revelations before Christmas that a contractor had secretly supplied an audio feed of press conferences to hedge funds so they could profit by listening in seconds ahead of rivals.

The FCA is probing the security breach, but MPs have also made calls for a sweeping inquiry.

Understanding how hedge funds were allowed access to the ultra-fast feeds will be one of the top priorities for Mr Bailey when he takes on the post on March 16.

He will also have to find a new home for the annual Governors’ Day party, as the Bank is selling its Roehampton club after more than 100 years of ownership.

The site – which sprawls some 30 acres and is close to Richmond Park – was put up for sale earlier this year, with the deadline for bids for the commercial lease having passed before Christmas.

The Governor is expected to make a final decision on the bids at the end of the first or second quarter next year.

Past summer parties held by the Bank at the site have seen staff and their families treated to activities including bake-off competitions, bouncy castles, bumper cars and laser tag.

The Bank said: “Governors’ Day is a long-held tradition that is open to all employees including their families, with the aim of recognising their hard work and dedication.”

The Bank also revealed separately that it spent £3,642 on its annual Governors and Directors Christmas Drinks reception last December, including £758 on 77 bottles of white wine and £1,500 on canapes.