Former Treasury chief Macpherson lined up to join finance lobby board

Written by Tamsin Rutter on 25 August 2017 in News

Lord Nick Macpherson in talks with UK Finance just 18 months after an 11-year stint as top Treasury official, according to reports

Lord Macpherson was Whitehall's longest serving permanent secretary when he stepped down last year. Credit: PA

After 11 years steering the Treasury through the financial crisis and its aftermath, former permanent secretary Lord Nick Macpherson looks set to join one of the banking industry’s most influential lobbyists.

UK Finance, which represents nearly 300 leading finance firms, has sought approval for Macpherson to join its board from Whitehall's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, Sky News has reported.

The reports come less than 18 months after he left government, despite the ban on senior civil servants taking up lobbying positions in the private sector within two years of leaving government.


Macpherson was Whitehall’s longest serving permanent secretary when he stepped down in March 2016, having taken on the role in 2005 and served under three different chancellors, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and George Osborne.

Since leaving government Macpherson has taken other roles in smaller financial firms, including as chair of private bank C Hoare & Co, and non-executive director of the Scottish American Investment Company.

He recently made headlines with a tweet airing his views on quantitative easing, the monetary policy deployed by his former boss, Darling, who gave permission to the Bank of England to launch a programme of government bond-buying during the financial crisis in a bidto stabilise the markets.

“QE like heroin: need ever increasing fixes to create a high. Meanwhile, negative side effects increase. Time to move on,” Macpherson said on Twitter.


He was succeeded at the Treasury by Tom Scholar, whose career encompasses stints at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as several roles across Whitehall.

About the author

Tamsin Rutter is senior reporter for Civil Service World and tweets as @TamsinRutter

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