The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom.
Its headquarters are in the central financial district of the City of London.
The BoE is also known as the “Old Lady’ of Threadneedle Street”. And as the world’s eight-oldest bank, it’s definitely old. Over 300 years old.
The Bank of England was founded in 1694, nationalized on 1 March 1946, and gained independence in 1997.
Standing at the center of the UK’s financial system, its mission is to “promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability.”
One of its main jobs is to make sure you can pay for things easily and securely in the UK. So the BoE produces banknotes (cash) and oversees many of the other payment systems you use (like debit or credit cards).
It also works to keep the cost of living stable so the British pound (GBP) keeps its purchasing power. One way it does is by changing the main interest rate in the UK.
The BoE also regulates and supervises all the major banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers, and investment firms in the UK to make sure they are safe and sound.
The BoE keeps the whole UK financial system stable.
A financial system connects people who want to save, invest, or borrow money.
Lastly, it keeps the UK’s financial system stable by keeping a close watch on any risks and taking action if needed.
For example, the BoE can lend to banks if they need it to ensure they can continue to lend to businesses and support the economy. And it makes sure that a failing bank doesn’t cause problems for the depositors, UK taxpayers, or the wider economy.
Monetary Policy Committee
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is a committee of the Bank of England, which meets for three and a half days, eight times a year, to decide the official interest rate in the United Kingdom.
The official bank rate (also called the “Bank of England base rate” or BOEBR) is the interest rate that the Bank of England charges banks for secured overnight lending.
It is the British Government’s key interest rate for enacting monetary policy. It’s like the U.S. discount rate, which is the interest rate that U.S. banks can borrow from the Fed.
It is also responsible for directing other aspects of the government’s monetary policy framework, such as quantitative easing and forward guidance.
The Committee comprises nine members, including the Governor of the Bank of England.