Mail on Sunday
Bank of England calls it a day on lavish yachts
By JASON LEWIS
High jinks: Public-funded yacht was enjoyed by the Bank of England.
The Bank of England is selling its ultimate taxpayer-funded staff perk – a corporate yacht.
Despite its reputation for financial prudence, for more than 30 years the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street has owned a succession of fast boats paid for with public money.
The 40ft Ingotism is a little known asset that cost £250,000 new six years ago. It has been used by staff, including former Governor Sir Eddie George, at Cowes Week and during international yacht races.
A select few have boarded it to join leading yachtsmen and wealthy enthusiasts such as rock star Simon Le Bon at regattas.
But the boat is now being sold off after present Governor Mervyn King – a football fan rather than a yachtsman – ruled that it was ‘no longer appropriate’ to pay for it. The craft has been costing £25,000 a year since its purchase for the bank’s sailing club.
Commercial firms ask for about £2,250 to charter similar yachts for a week’s sailing.
But the bank is understood to charge just £500 a week to rent out its eight-berth vessel.
Ingotism IV is the latest in a line of boats bought for the club since it was established in 1974. It was purchased when Baron George, as he is now, was Governor and commodore of the club. It is on the market for more than £100,000.
The Government-owned bank said last night: “It is not a gin palace but owning the yacht no longer has the support of senior staff. The cost was assessed earlier this year and it was decided it was no longer appropriate.”
In future club members will charter yachts.