The Government of the Bank
THE method by which the Bank of England is governed is so unique and so different from that observed in connection with any other bank that it will be of interest to consider it in some detail. The bank is governed by a board of twenty-four directors, a Governor and a Deputy Governor.
The Board of Directors is self-electing. In theory, a certain portion go out annually, remain out a year, and are subject to re-election by the proprietors, but in fact they are nearly always re-elected after a year. This has been the unbroken practice for many years. When a vacancy occurs by death or resignation it is filled by an election by the board. It is the practice in electing new members to choose young men, usually men connected with old established mercantile firms of London. The status which is given by an election to the board, both to the individual who fills it and to the firm of merchants to which he belongs, is considerable. The selection of men to receive this honor is made with great care for a reason which will now be stated.
The offices of Governor and Deputy Governor are given in rotation. The Deputy Governor always succeeds the Governor and usually the oldest director who has not been in office becomes Deputy Governor. Occasionally, for