David Roberts, Chair
Andrew Bailey, Governor (items 2-5 only)
Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor – Financial Stability (items 2-5 only)
Sir Dave Ramsden, Deputy Governor – Markets & Banking (items 1-11 only)
Sam Woods, Deputy Governor – Prudential Regulation
Ben Stimson, Chief Operating Officer
1. Conflicts, Minutes and Matters Arising
There were no conflicts declared in relation to the present agenda.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 May 2023 were approved.
2. Governor’s Update
The Governor set out that Melanie Beaman, Executive Director for Resolution, had very sadly passed away since Court’s last meeting. Mel represented the best traditions of the Bank and the Financial Services Authority and was a public servant of the very highest calibre. Court’s thoughts and best wishes were with Mel’s friends and family at this tragic time. The Bank was considering a suitable, formal way to recognise and remember Mel’s outstanding contribution to the Bank.
The Governor set out that since Court’s discussion at its last meeting, Court had publicly commissioned an externally-led review into the Bank’s forecasting and related processes during times of significant uncertainty. The process of appointing an independent external advisor to lead the review was underway, and support would be provided by the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). Court would be asked to approve the Terms of Reference for the Review.
Court discussed the external environment in which the Bank was operating. The Bank’s focus was on delivering its mission and returning inflation sustainably to target.
The Chair highlighted the importance of the Bank’s regional engagement and gave an update on his recent visit to Leeds and Newcastle.
4. RTGS Renewal Programme Update
(Victoria Cleland, Nathan Monk and Afua Kyei)
The Chair – on behalf of Court – thanked the RTGS Renewal Programme for executing a smooth transition to TS2.1. Victoria Cleland observed that in the days after go-live, no major issues had been identified. The Bank had a high-level of confidence in the functioning and resilience of the new system.
The benefits of the new architecture were being realised, through the speed at which changes could be implemented. Victoria Cleland would update Court, in due course, on lessons that could be learnt from TS2.1 go-live and applied to TS3, and for the Bank more generally in delivering Programmes.
As focus shifts from TS2.1 to TS3, Court thought it important to consider the differences between the two milestones and how that could be communicated to an external audience.
Court agreed that the frequency of updates to Court could be restructured in the coming months. This arrangement should be reconsidered as the go-live event for TS3 became closer.
5. IEO Data Evaluation
(Melissa Davey, David Ronicle, Michael Lever, Catherine Charnock, Barnaby Vingoe, James Benford)
The IEO updated Court on its ongoing review into the Bank’s Data Strategy. The IEO would return to Court in September with a further update.
Court agreed that the IEO should publish its Report. Court would approve the IEO’s final report and be updated on the Bank’s response at its September meeting. The Bank’s new costed Data Strategy would be tabled for discussion at Court at the end of the year.
The Chair requested that the IEO considered – and updated Court on - what could be learnt from this review and applied to the Bank’s broader change and technology agenda.
6. Nominations Committee (NomCo) Update
At its last meeting, NomCo received an update on the Bank’s talent strategy. Discussion focussed on how the Bank attracted and retained different skill sets as well as how managers developed talent. NomCo observed that it would be important for the Bank to consider the talent capabilities and skills mix it would need in the future.
Court noted the importance of having an integrated talent and people strategy and requested increased engagement on these topics.
7. Audit and Risk Committee (ARCo) Update
At its last meeting, ARCo had received updates on the Bank’s risk profile, the experience of new joiners and operational risk.
ARCo welcomed the new Quarterly Risk Report, with its enhanced reporting on risk trends.
ARCo received Internal Audit’s Annual Report and requested that this was circulated to all Court members.
8. Remuneration Committee (RemCo) Update
Since Court’s last meeting, RemCo had approved the remuneration of the Bank’s interim CIO and ED for Change and Planning.
RemCo received an update on the Bank’s gender and ethnicity pay gap.
RemCo were updated on the review of pensions arrangements.
9. The Bank’s Finances
(Afua Kyei and Ed Moore)
Afua Kyei updated Court on the Bank’s Finances, including the Q1 forecast.
It was noted that the change from the current Cash Ratio Deposit funding model to a Bank of England Levy could now be implemented, as the Financial Service and Markets Act had received royal assent.
A streamlined planning and prioritisation process had been planned for this financial year.
10. COO Update
Ben Stimson noted that good progress had been made in terms of recruiting the Senior Leadership Team for Central Services. Embedding the leadership team into the area and the organisation was a key priority.
It was recommended that efficiency and cost savings continued to be a key focus for the CS2025 Programme.
Court thanked Jonathan Curtiss for 40 years of service and his contribution to the Bank’s work.
Operations and Investment Committee projects
Data and Analytics Transformation Programme
Court approved the Data and Analytics Transformation Programme and noted that the Data Strategy would appear at Court in the coming months.
Court also noted papers on the Single Banknote Inspection Machine Project which will remain under the purview of OIC and the Physical Security Tender which will return to Court later in the year.
11. Staff Engagement and Internal Communication – six monthly update
(James Bell and Sian Jones)
James Bell and Sian Jones introduced the item, which focussed on the use of communications to build and maintain staff engagement.
Court discussed what it meant to be a senior leader and the importance of leaders ensuring that staff were engaged with the mission and purpose of the organisation.
Court noted the importance of celebrating successes - across the range of the Bank’s work and skill sets.
12. Support for Monetary Policy: Annual Report to Court 2022/23
(Melissa Davey and Alan Castle)
As required under Statute, Court assessed whether the MPC were in receipt of adequate sectoral and regional data. Court noted the critical role of the Bank’s Agents and observed that MPC members had taken part in over 60 regional visits over the course of the last year. Court confirmed its support for the MPC in this regard.
The Chair updated Court on some observations of the MPC based on his attendance at recent discussions and a series of bilateral discussions with MPC members. The Chair noted the challenges of operating in uncertain times, the need to stand back and look at the role of the forecast in supporting policy making. This would be addressed via an externally led review. MPC communications would examined as a part of this exercise. The Chair observed that MPC members had expressed their thanks for the contributions of Bank staff.
13. Committee Appointments and Conflicts
Court noted the paper and discussed future recruitments.
The processes to recruit the incoming DGFS and ARCo Chair were progressing well.
14. Items for Information
- Monetary Policy Committee Report
- Update on the Bank / FCA MoU on market infrastructure
The meeting of Court was closed.