The prime minister-turned-lobbyist approached the central bank directly to ask for favors for Greensill Capital.
LONDON — Former British Prime Minister David Cameron approached the Bank of England directly on several occasions to try to influence its policy on coronavirus-related loans, the monetary institution said Thursday.
Cameron contacted the Bank of England on four occasions in March and April 2020 to lobby for the inclusion of Greensill Capital in the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), a scheme designed to ease pressure on large employers in the country as the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Cameron also took part in a conference call with the Bank of England and his employer, banker Lex Greensill, on March 17, 2020, at the height of the pandemic’s first wave in the U.K.
The lobbying took place both before and after the threshold of acceptance to the CCFF scheme was announced by the Bank, but Greensill Capital failed to convince regulators to adapt the standards to allow the firm access. For example, Cameron insisted to both the Treasury and the Bank that Greensill Capital should be exempt from the requirement that beneficiaries of the scheme be non-financial companies. Greensill Capital was a financial firm that lent money to companies seeking to pay their contractors more quickly.
“HMT seem to be hung up on the fact that the CCFF is there for ‘non financial’ corporates and these bonds are being issued by a financial institution. This is surely irrelevant — the money goes straight into non financial corporates, mostly SME,” Cameron wrote on April 3, 2020, to Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Jon Cunliffe, according to the disclosure.
Cameron’s lobbying came in addition to approaches by Greensill himself, the Bank said.
“None of the options proposed by Greensill were consistent with the published terms of the CCFF,” the Bank said, “or with the risk management of the scheme. The firm was not granted access to the CCFF.”
Earlier Thursday, the Treasury’s top civil servant, Tom Scholar, told a parliamentary committee that he also received phone calls and text messages from Cameron on behalf of Greensill Capital.
Greensill Capital declared insolvency in March 2021.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/bank-of-england-david-cameron-lobbying-greensill-capital/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication