Outstanding research and analysis underpins everything the Bank does. While the Bank has conducted research for many years, it had, to a degree, been crowded out during the financial crisis by the shorter term analysis needed at the time. Recognising this, in 2014 the Bank made investment in research a key part of its One Bank Strategic Plan.
With that plan coming to an end, Court commissioned the IEO to assess whether the aim to improve research in the 2014 Strategic Plan had been met. The IEO was asked to consider whether the investment in research had enabled the Bank to make progress on its research objectives: to increase the Bank's external profile and influence; to inform policy development; and to enhance internal skills and knowledge building.
The report shows that research has benefited from this investment. There is a more conducive environment for research at the Bank, with more researchers given more time to carry out their research. The Bank is publishing more across the full range of the Bank's remit: monetary, macroprudential and microprudential. Research is being used in policy development and is informing policymakers. And the Bank's reputation as a research institution has risen globally. Developing researchers' skill has helped improve the quality of research and analysis produced.
The IEO's recommendations fall under three themes. The first considers the importance of clarifying the role of research in delivering the Bank's mission. The second theme looks to provide more clarity and structure around career paths for researchers. The final theme reflects on the challenges of ensuring there are structures and resources in place that support the Bank's research objectives, in particular ensuring that researchers can make the best use of the Bank's unique data.