Our agents are based across the UK
Our agents operate from 12 agencies across the UK. Up to four agents are based at each agency and they are supported by small administrative teams.
Agents have one-to-one confidential conversations with businesses and community organisations in their area. They hold local events so people can share views and experiences.
They meet hundreds of contacts, from small businesses and community organisations to large global companies. They gather insight into all sectors of the economy.
The agents find out what conditions are like for businesses and communities
Our agents make sure we have a well-rounded view of economic conditions and prospects across the UK. They help business people and our economists understand each other.
They connect our policymakers with what’s happening on the ground
Our agents organise visits for our policymakers across the UK so they can hear the views of businesses and communities first-hand.
We use this insight to inform our decisions
We use what we learn from meetings with business and community contacts to inform the decisions the Bank of England’s policy committees make. For example, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and Prudential Regulation Committee (PRC).
The MPC decides what monetary policy action we take, for example the decision to raise, lower or maintain interest rates. The FPC decides what steps we take to maintain financial stability. And the PRC looks at how we regulate banks and other financial firms.
We publish our findings
We publish agents' reports eight times a year in our Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions.
Each summary reflects discussions with around 1,000 businesses across the UK, covering all sectors of the economy. The reports do not represent our view, or those of any particular region or firm. They reflect UK-wide feedback from firms.
We score economic conditions
Agents produce quantitative assessments of economic conditions in their region. These are called agents' national scores and we publish them at the same time as the agents’ summary. The scores indicate how different aspects of the economy are behaving on a scale of -5 to +5.
Agents also score the performance of individual companies across a range of variables following each visit. This forms a data-set known as company visits scores and it includes published data.