This is the first time that this Committee has examined the operations of the Bank of England. Our initial engagement has, in some respects, been a glimpse into the past, with ways of working appearing years out of date. The Bank has committed to cap its spending at 2017 levels and improving the effectiveness of how it works and communicates. It plans to deliver a series of change programmes to improve central services. The Bank expects these transformation programmes to deliver £15 million of annual savings from 2021–22.
Change needs to be delivered at pace to realise the potential efficiencies which the Bank has committed to. The Bank plays a fundamental role in making important decisions about monetary issues and the financial stability of the country, therefore it must demonstrate that it practices what it preaches. However, we are not yet convinced that the Bank’s new vision for central services is sufficiently clear, nor that it has fully considered the changes it could make to modernise practices and maximise efficiency savings. We will hold the Bank accountable for delivering on its commitments to us and the Committee shall return to this subject at a future date.
Published: 13 March 2019