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Bank of England operational independence: has it benefited the UK’s monetary, financial, and economic situation?

Friday 28 April 2023

At 3.30pm on Tuesday 2 May the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be taking evidence.

The committee will hear from: 

  • Andreas Dombret, former Board Member of the Deutsche Bundesbank and former European Central Bank Supervisory Board Member
  • Edward Chancellor, Financial Historian.

Topics the committee is likely to cover in this session include:

  • The UK’s track record on inflation over the past 25 years and the Bank of England’s role.
  • The Bank’s response to rising UK inflation through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Whether there is sufficient diversity of view in the central bank community and across governments to avoid ‘group think’.
  • Whether Quantitative Easing and the size of the Bank’s balance sheet has compromised its independence and credibility in the fight against inflation.
  • Whether central banks are being asked to do too much.
  • Inherent risks associated with a central bank’s role as both a micro and macroprudential supervisory authority.
  • The right balance between Bank of England accountability and operational independence.

The meeting will be held in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords. It will also be streamed live on Parliament TV.

More about this inquiry 

2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the Bank of England Act 1998. This Act gave the Bank of England its independence and reformed the structure, responsibilities and functions of the Bank.

The Economic Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry to examine how operational independence is working. It will focus on the Bank’s role and remit; whether the governance structures of the Bank are appropriate; and how the Bank is being held accountable for its actions.

It will not look at individual policy decisions that the Bank has taken.

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