Minutes of the Meeting of the Court of Directors held on 29 October 2021

The Bank's Court of Directors acts as a unitary board, setting the organisation's strategy and budget and taking key decisions on resourcing and appointments. Required to meet a minimum seven times per year, it has five executive members from the Bank and up to nine non-executive members.
Published on 15 December 2021

Present:

Mr Fried, Chair

The Governor

Mr Broadbent, Deputy Governor – Monetary Policy (by video)

Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor – Financial Stability

Sir Dave Ramsden, Deputy Governor – Markets & Banking

Mr Woods, Deputy Governor – Prudential Regulation

Ms Glover

Baroness Harding

Mr Kalifa

Ms Noble

Ms O’Grady (by video – items 1-4 only)

Ms Thompson

In attendance:

Ms Place, Chief Operating Officer

Secretary:

Mr Footman / Ms Honeyman

1. Minutes and Matters Arising

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2021 were approved.

There were no conflicts declared in relation to the present agenda.

CRDs

Court discussed the Bank’s Cash Ratio Deposits (CRD) framework and income needs. Dave Ramsden noted that since Court’s previous discussion the Treasury had published a consultation paper.

Public Appointments

Court was updated on current public recruitment processes for Court (Chair) and the PRC.

2. RemCo update

Dido Harding noted the Committee had agreed salaries for Nathaniel Benjamin and Duncan MacKinnon as new EDs. It had also received further updates on the Bank’s new performance and salary review process. The Chair requested that this be brought to Court in December.

3. ARCo Emerging Themes and Key Incidents

(Stephen Brown, Afua Kyei and Ed Moore)

Dorothy Thompson reviewed the key themes and emerging issues from the meetings of ARCo held over the previous nine months. In that period the Committee had covered risk items including projects, obsolescence, finance systems, controls and procurement. She noted that the Bank had been able to successfully maintain its risk controls during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Frances O’Grady noted the effectiveness of the Bank’s response to the Covid crisis – she asked whether there were lessons applicable to other areas. Dorothy Thompson thought this a possible subject for an IEO review.

4. RTGS Renewal Programme

(Victoria Cleland, Afua Kyei, Oliver Tweedie and Sarah Cox)

The Chair noted that RTGS Renewal was by some margin the Bank’s largest project, in terms of both money and impact. Victoria Cleland added that RTGS was vital to both the resilience and the competitiveness of the banking sector and thus to the Bank’s Financial Stability Objective. Significant progress had been made in building the new platform, but the Programme was entering a challenging period where effective engagement with the industry would be vital. Firms needed to be ready and they would be consulted in January 2022 about the timing of the next stage.

The team were asked to return to Court in early 2022 to provide an update following the industry consultation process.

5. Update on the Data Analytics Programme

(Gareth Ramsay and Peter Eckley)

Gareth Ramsay updated Court on the Data Analytics Programme.

Court welcomed the progress made and requested a further update in May 2022.

6. Finance

(Afua Kyei and Paul McArdle)

Quarterly Finance Report

Afua Kyei reported that the underspend relative to budget was about £20mn in the first seven months of the financial year reflecting delays to on-boarding new staff. It was expected that the full financial year underspend would be £5mn.

Budget Update

Court noted the proposed move to an annual budget and a three-year strategy. It was recognised that this would require a degree of cultural change and Andrew Bailey said that Exco was considering a number of approaches. It was suggested that a number of areas might qualify for additional funds, including the RT transition.

Court requested further work be completed to understand whether there were economies of scale that could be exploited in the Bank’s central ‘cost to serve’ model, for a further discussion in December.

7. Financial Stability

(Sarah Breeden)

Sarah Breeden updated Court on issues for discussion in the present FPC round of meetings.

8. Papers of Information

Court noted:

  • MPC Report
  • Change in Location of Banknote Printing Alternative Siteohn Footman)

The Secretary updated Court on current work to fill current and forthcoming vacancies on the PRC and the Court.

The meeting of Court was closed

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