COMMONS

Committee launches inquiry into the accountability of the Bank of England

07 March 2011

On 3 February 2011 the Treasury Committee reported on the Government’s proposals for Financial Regulation. It commended the Bank of England’s engagement with Parliament over the MPC. The Government’s proposals would extend the responsibilities of the Bank to include monitoring financial stability and taking action against threats to that stability. The prudential regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, will be a subsidiary of the Bank of England

The Government’s own consultation notes:

“These changes to give the Bank control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation will mean a much greater and more operational role for the Bank in the financial system. This will have significant implications for the Bank in terms of its staff, resources, governance and transparency.”

The Committee is accordingly launching an inquiry into the Bank of England, to give this issue the attention it deserves. Key questions will be:

  • What kind of decisions should made by each body within the Bank?Discussion focuses on the MPC and FPC but are there other policy functions within the Bank’s remit which deserve attention?
  • To whom should the Bank be accountable?Are different accountability mechanisms needed for different functions?
  • Are the responsibilities  of the Court of the Bank of England clear and appropriate?
  • Are the members of the Court of the Bank  and the arrangements for its members’ appointment and dismissal appropriate?
  • What resources does the Bank of England need to carry out its functions?

Notes on submission of written evidence:

  • Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to [email protected]. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is 12 noon on Thursday 31 March 2011. Submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum.
  • Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. View further guidance on the submission of evidence.
  • Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.
  • The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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