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Bank of England operational independence: what are the risks associated with a central bank’s role as both a micro and macroprudential supervisory authority?

Monday 22 May 2023

At 3pm on Tuesday 23 May the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be taking evidence from:

  • Howard Davies, Chairman of the NatWest Group
  • Roger Bootle, Chairman of Capital Economics.

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

  • The extent to which the UK’s low inflation over much of the past 25 years can be attributed to the Bank’s operational independence.

  • Whether central banks have fallen victim to groupthink and/or poor models.

  • The main advantages and disadvantages to the Bank of operational independence.

  • Whether expanded remits ask too much of the Bank and risk its politicisation.

  • The balance between accountability and operational independence.

  • Whether the existing regulatory frameworks across the globe can identify nascent systematic risks.

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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