Productive Finance Working Group

The industry-led Group aims to develop practical solutions to the barriers to investing in long-term, less liquid assets.

What is the Productive Finance Working Group?

The industry-led Productive Finance Working Group aims to develop practical solutions to the barriers to investing in long-term, less liquid assets. The Group was convened in November 2020 by the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Low interest rates and relatively slow economic growth, by historic standards, have increased the challenge for savers in terms of returns on their investments. One way to achieve higher returns, net of cost, is to invest in longer-term, less liquid assets, managed appropriately.

Investment in such assets, including productive finance assets, could also benefit the wider economy. It can support economic recovery, financial stability and the transition to net zero. Examples of productive assets include research and development, technology, and infrastructure.

Report

In September 2021, the Working Group has published a report including recommendations that will create an environment in which defined contribution (DC) schemes and other investors can benefit from the appropriate long-term opportunities. These recommendations fall into four categories, requiring action from both industry and official sector:

  1. Shifting the focus to long-term value for DC pension scheme members 
  2. Building scale in the DC market
  3. A new approach to liquidity management
  4. Widening access to less liquid assets

Working Group information

In May 2021, John Glen, Andrew Bailey and Nikhil Rathi, the co-chairs of the Working Group, gave an interim update on its progress.

In December 2021 the Working Group started work to take forward the recommendations in its Report. As part of this, the Group has been reviewing its membership, in line with the membership criteria published below. In particular, given the nature and the target audience of the recommendations in the Report, the Group is seeking to strengthen the representation of pension schemes, to improve the overall expertise, representativeness and diversity of the Working Group. Once agreed, revised terms of reference and membership list for the Working Group will be published below in due course. If you are a pension scheme, and are interested to discuss or contribute to taking forward the recommendations in the Report, you can contact the Secretariat using the contact information below.

You can download the Working Group’s terms of reference, membership criteria, and membership list below.

Contact

To contact the Working Group, please email its Secretariat at FSSR-Productive-Finance-Secretariat@bankofengland.co.uk and ProductiveFinanceWG@fca.org.uk.

This page was last updated 08 April 2022

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