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Opinion

BBA: Free speech

Euromoney paid a visit to the annual British Bankers’ Association conference last month in London.

Having stepped over the customary protesters sporting Robin Hood costumes outside the venue, attendees were treated to a day of the great and the good from regulators, government, banks and even a couple of corporates as well.

One of the highlights of the day was an interview with Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England and odds-on favourite to get the top job next year, despite his uncomfortable appearance in front of the Treasury Select Committee in July over his dealings with Barclays’ Bob Diamond.

Rather than make a speech at the BBA event, it was announced Tucker had agreed to be interviewed by Reuters Breakingviews’ Asia editor Peter Thal Larsen. Both men duly took to the stage, whereupon Tucker announced he wished to make a few comments before the interview, which was scheduled to last for 25 minutes.

Twenty minutes later, he was still talking – despite saying at various points "I just want to say a couple of things", "and finally" and "let me just finish by saying this".

Thal Larsen was left to look thoughtfully into the middle distance and scribble notes in his book before finally getting the chance to start his interview five minutes before it was due to finish.

Tucker’s interrogator at the TSC, Andrew Tyrie MP, was due to take the stage during the session after his interview. Maybe the deputy governor was making sure he got everything off his chest quickly before bumping into Tyrie during the coffee break.

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