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Managing the Bank of England’s central services

The Royal Assent of the Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 (the Act) took place in May 2016.  The Act provides for the National Audit Office (NAO) to conduct value for money audit, on the basis of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Bank of England (the Bank) and the NAO.

The Bank’s mission is to “promote the Good of the People of the United Kingdom by maintaining Monetary and Financial Stability”. In order to improve effectiveness the Bank has developed a three year strategy to enhance communication and ways of working (called Vision 2020). The Bank’s Central Services Strategy seeks to enable the Bank to make better use of technology and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.

From 2018, the Bank will cap its ‘controllable’ resources (excluding bank note production and pensions) at £476m in nominal terms. Within that cost envelope the Bank must find funding for operational change and accommodate budget pressures.

Central services are a substantial part of the Bank’s current operations, supporting its overall performance and delivery of its strategic aims. This study will examine whether the Bank’s central services are efficient, cost-effective and appropriate to its needs.  The study will inform Parliament on the challenge facing the Bank in transforming central services and whether the Bank is well placed to deliver change.