Born: March 23, 1943 ; Died: September 3, 2012.
Sir Andrew Crockett, who has died aged 69, was the only Briton to have held the prestigious post of general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel. He developed BIS into a worldwide financial institution which developed close co-operation between the world's central banks. It was Sir Andrew's shrewd knowledge of banking and financial markets that allowed him to expand BIS's activities in such vital emerging markets as South America, Russia and China. He was a banker of international renown, an inspiring figure of great intellect and blessed with a wonderful sense of humour.
His career in banking started at the Bank of England (BofE) where he rose to important positions (he was dubbed by some financial journalists as "the best banker never to be Governor") and then the International Monetary Fund. After he retired from BIS he held a senior post with JP Morgan.
Andrew Duncan Crockett was the son of a Glasgow doctor who moved to Surrey when Sir Andrew was young. Sir Andrew read economics at Queens' College, Cambridge, and at Yale before joining the Bank of England in 1966. His sharp mind ensured that
he was soon promoted and in 1971 he worked in the bank's economic intelligence department, writing an influential paper recommending a relaxation in controls in the banking sector. The paper formed the basis of the Heath Government's revised laws on lending.
Three years later the measures led to the free-for-all in the property market and sparked off the secondary banking crisis. Financial observers maintained that the fault was not so much with the BofE as with politicians. After a time in the BofE's banking supervision department Sir Andrew wrote an economics textbook, Money: Theory, Policy, Institutions.
Sir Andrew embarked on a two-year secondment to the IMF in Washington where he was involved in the realignment of fixed exchange rates. At the end of the posting, Crockett (whose wife, Marjorie Hlavacek, is American) stayed at the IMF and rose to senior posts in the research department.
In 1989 he returned to Threadneedle Street as an executive director responsible for international affairs and was much involved in creating a workable financial structure in Hong Kong after the handing over to China.
The post at the BIS was offered to Sir Andrew in 1994 and he saw it as his brief to refocus the bank and give it a more international outlook: especially as the EU was expanding its own financial institutions. He concentrated successfully on the emerging economies in South America, the Middle East and the former Soviet bloc countries. He was instrumental in modernising the internal bureaucracy of the BIS and promoted its expertise on a global basis which ensured it became a reasoned voice of forward-looking regulation throughout the financial industry. After two five-year terms at the BIS he joined the US giant JPMorgan Chase as an ambassadorial president of the bank's international division. This allowed him to stay in contact with contemporary economic issues and be available to advise governments and central banks.
He retired to San Francisco to be with his family where he devoted much time to improving his golf. Despite the diagnosis of cancer he continued to attend banking conferences and seminars. In 2003 he was knighted and in 2000 he was named European Banker of the Year. He married in 1966. His wife survives him with their two sons and a daughter.
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