Your voice 2024: insights from the Bank of England’s outreach programmes

We listen directly to people from all parts of the UK. This report is a summary of what we have learnt over the past 12 months and how we have used those insights.

Food, energy and housing costs dominate concerns

A growing generational and economic divide emerges

Charities face unprecedented demand and rising operating costs

Published on 10 July 2024

The Bank’s outreach programme is designed to enable members of the public to share their experience of the economy. It also allows them to ask questions about the Bank’s policies and decisions, therefore holding the Bank to account.

This report provides a summary of the discussions that took place from March 2023 to February 2024. As with the previous report, it focuses on the impact of higher inflation, and responses to it.

It has been compiled on behalf of the chairs of the Citizens’ Forum panels who play an important independent role in the delivery of the panels for the Bank.

Introduction from the panel chairs

We are volunteers who serve as independent chairs of citizens’ panels across the UK that make up the Citizens’ Forum. This forum has around 4,000 members. Our role is to make sure everyone who takes part in the panel meetings has their voice heard.

The cost-of-living squeeze continues to affect many across the UK, and this report summarises the key themes from our conversations with these panels. These were held both in-person at venues across the UK and as virtual events.

It also includes summaries from the discussions the Bank had with third-sector organisations and the people they support through a programme of Community Forum events, as well as discussions with younger people aged 16–19. The latter are pilots of a new youth engagement programme.

This report covers the period from March 2023 to February 2024. Over the year, the people we spoke to shared their views and experiences about the challenges associated with the continued rise in the cost of living and the impact it has had on them, their households, and their communities. As many of us are deeply involved in our local communities, many of these issues were familiar to us, but hearing these testimonies firsthand still made quite an impact.

The Bank uses the information it gathers at these events to track how public sentiment changes over time. This sits alongside other key economic indicators to provide a full picture in a timely way.

In this report, you will see how the information gathered at these events is used to inform important policy decisions that the Bank makes.

We thank everyone who has participated in outreach events and shared their views and experiences so openly with us over the past year.

We look forward to hearing from and meeting more of you soon.

UK outreach events: March 2023 to February 2024

The images below illustrate where the Bank hosted events between 2023 and 2024, and includes the names of the senior Bank officials in attendance.