Bank of Canada names Carolyn Rogers as new senior deputy governor

·3 min read

OTTAWA — Carolyn Rogers, a familiar regulatory face in Canada and abroad, is coming home later this year to become second-in-command at the Bank of Canada.

Rogers has spent the past two years as secretary-general of an international regulatory body overseen by the world's central bankers and was a former senior official at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which regulates banks in Canada.

Rogers' seven-year term as senior deputy governor starts Dec. 15, one week after the bank makes its final scheduled rate announcement for 2021 and just over a year after Carolyn Wilkins stepped down from the role.

In many of her speeches at OSFI and more recently at the Bank of International Settlements, essentially a central bank for the world's central bankers, she has stressed the need for regulators to be good referees.

In a speech from May, Rogers noted that regulators need to think differently in the face of changing times, including moving away from focusing on rules and standards to a greater willingness to act without perfect information.

"The last decade has been a challenging one for bank supervisors," reads the text of Rogers' speech on May 25.

"However, the decade ahead is likely to be even more challenging. What's more, the solutions deployed in the last decade are not likely the same ones needed in the decade ahead."

Her regulatory background was something the hiring committee noted in announcing her appointment, including her knowledge of payments systems the Bank of Canada plans to update next summer so it can handle real-time payments beyond existing e-transfers.

Governor Tiff Macklem said Rogers' international experience will add a diverse perspective to the central bank, while Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland separately said that Rogers' experience should help the country navigate the end of the pandemic and an economic recovery.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes said Rogers' expertise in Canadian and global financial systems will complement Macklem's macroeconomic and monetary policy background.

Still, Mendes said, her appointment is unlikely to change the overall trajectory of Canadian monetary policy.

The central bank has been on the hunt for a senior deputy governor since late last year when Wilkins announced she was leaving the Bank of Canada before the end of her seven-year term.

When Macklem was asked about the process in May, he said nobody was looking forward to having someone in the senior deputy role more than him.

At the time, he noted the bank's governing council, which makes decisions on critical bank policies like the key policy rate, was not as diverse as it should be, or as it had been in the past when there was an equal number of men and women.

"And we saw the benefits of that," Macklem said during a press conference with reporters.

"Moving forward, I think it will be important for the governing council to become more representative of the diversity of Canadians. Obviously, that's not the only criteria where we're going to be looking for certain skill sets."

In a BIS podcast in late May, Rogers spoke about a career where she has been one of the few women in the room as decisions were being made and why diversity, beyond gender diversity, was necessary.

When she was asked why more women weren't in senior ranks like herself, she said it was due to institutional inertia.

"We just keep doing what we've always done," she said in the May 20 podcast. "And if you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to get the same results."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2021.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

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