June 20, 2008 3:00 am

Mandarin for hire

"For hire" signs are hanging over the heads of two knights of the realm after the Bank of England reshuffle that capped the Mansion House dinner.

Making himself available for vacancies on retail bank boards, Sir John Gieve is departing two years early after a career that includes four years at the Home Office and before that, 20 years at the Treasury where he worked on banking and City regulation. He was private secretary to chancellors Lawson, Major and Lamont.

Sir Callum McCarthy is also about to become free, as he retires as FSA chairman in September. Both may be tainted by the credit crunch and Northern Rock crisis, but they certainly know the ins and outs of government.

people@ft.com

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