RBA names its first female governor
Ending months of speculation, the Federal Government has confirmed Dr Philip Lowe's reign in the Reserve Bank of Australia's top job will end in September.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will have its first female governor in its 63-year history following the appointment of Michele Bullock to a seven-year term starting next month.
The Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers, made the announcement on Friday (14 July), putting an imminent end to the sometimes-controversial tenure of Governor Philip Lowe from 18 September.
Following the Treasurer’s announcement, Deputy Governor Bullock acknowledged it was a tough time to step up.
“I am deeply honoured to have been appointed to this important position.
“It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards.
“I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people.’
Mr Lowe said the Treasurer has made a first-rate appointment.
“I congratulate Michele on being appointed Governor.
“The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA.”
Mr Lowe had indicated his willingness to continue in the role but was ultimately overlooked for another term.
The role of Reserve Bank Governor comes with several responsibilities, including Chair of the Reserve Bank Board, the Payments System Board and the Council of Financial Regulators. As Governor, Ms Bullock will also be responsible for the management of the Bank under the Reserve Bank Act 1959.
The position of Deputy Governor from 18 September 2023 will be filled by the Treasurer in due course.
Mr Lowe had been criticised for telling borrowers that that interest rate rises were unlikely until 2024, which proved costly for many who acted on that guidance, and for the slow start to monetary policy tightening in early 2022.
Ms Bullock was appointed to the deputy role on 2 April 2022, having joined the central bank in 1985. She will become the ninth RBA Governor.
She holds a Masters of Science (Economics) degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of New England.
It will be interesting to see what sort of regime Ms Bullock will preside over, in the wake of sweeping reform recommendations made in April.
The existing board will be divided into two. The split will see special panel appointed to determine interest rates and another set up to deal with governance, currency issuance and other monetary policy tasks.