What is Market Intelligence and why does the Bank collect it?
Market Intelligence (MI) is information gathered from financial market participants to enhance the Bank’s understanding of the international and domestic financial markets in which it operates, and to inform its monetary, financial stability and supervisory policy decisionsfootnote . In so doing, MI supports the Bank’s mission of promoting the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability.
Amongst other things, MI provides:
- insights beyond those available using publicly available data alone, which help identify actual and incipient sources of monetary and financial instability;
- information for designing and assessing the success of the Bank’s market operations; and
- input to analysis presented in Bank publications (e.g. the Financial Stability Report, the Monetary Policy Report or the Quarterly Bulletin) and speeches and other public engagements by officials.
From whom does the Bank gather Market Intelligence?
The Bank seeks to engage financial market contacts in the UK and major overseas financial centres active in the markets, products and sectors most likely to present risks to the monetary and financial stability of the United Kingdom. The Bank also gathers MI from counterparties to its own financial market transactions.
Diversity and inclusion is a key priority for the Bank, both internally and in its external outreach. It is critical to the success of our MI gathering that we draw on the fullest possible range of information. Amongst other things, that means gathering information from market participant firms of differing sizes, business models and strategies. But it also means drawing on perspectives from diverse contacts within those firms. With that in mind, the Bank seeks to increase the diversity of its external contact base, and encourages firms to consider diversity when deciding who should participate in market intelligence conversations with the Bank. This could take place in a number of ways, for example through including subject specialists in particular discussions, or as part of supporting those who might find such conversations helpful for their professional development. This is not intended to limit relationships with, or replace, existing contacts, but rather to augment and strengthen the diversity of our external contact base.
How does the Bank gather Market Intelligence?
MI is gathered directly by staff in the Bank’s MI function. It may also be gathered indirectly, as a by-product of the Bank’s policy, analytical, operational and supervisory work.
All Bank staff are required to comply with a Code of Conduct that requires ethical and professional behaviourfootnote . For staff involved in external engagement (including gathering MI) there are also internal policies and procedures, which cover risk mitigation and best practice.
The Bank ensures staff are provided with training and guidance appropriate to the external engagement they undertake and their experience. Staff that engage in MI do so primarily in a listening capacity, taking market information and intelligence from our contacts. The Bank does not provide its MI contacts with any Bank information or Bank views that are not already in the public domain.
The vast majority of MI conversations are bilateral discussions between the Bank and representatives of individual firms. Multilateral discussions (i.e. with more than one firm) are subject to their own governance arrangements. Participants at multilateral meetings have obligations under competition law not to discuss or disclose competitively sensitive information that is not in the public domain.
What happens to information gathered for Market Intelligence?
Accurate and complete record keeping is important to the Bank: material information external contacts provide are recordedfootnote . The Bank may also record, monitor and store telephone calls and virtual meeting interactions for recordkeeping, dispute resolution and training purposesfootnote .
MI is provided to the Bank in the understanding that it will be treated with confidence. MI is shared internally across the Bank and may be shared with the Financial Conduct Authority, the Government and other relevant governmental bodies and/or regulatory authorities. This information is typically highly aggregated - i.e., it would not normally contain firm-specific or attributed comments.
However, if the Bank receives information which it deems potentially to be of regulatory or conduct interest – including any evidence, suspicion or allegation of misconduct – it will share this information, on a non-aggregated and non-anonymised basis, with the relevant authority.footnote  Firms should direct any regulatory or conduct questions to their supervisory contact at the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority and/or separately to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Controls exist to ensure the appropriate use of confidential MI by the Bank and to ensure that Bank staff do not use confidential MI they gather for private financial benefit.
The intelligence gathering described here is not directed at regulatory or supervisory matters regarding individual firms, or consumer protection issues. Such engagement is carried out separately by the relevant regulatory body.
See Our Code Acting with integrity, demonstrating impartiality
More information on how we process and use MI contacts’ data is given at Privacy and the Bank of England
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to the Bank and records may be disclosed under the Act.
e.g. Competition and Markets Authority, Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, National Crime Agency and Serious Fraud Office.