Transparency is the watchword for monetary policy, and greater openness the hallmark of the modern central bank. Before it was fashionable, the Bank of England (Bank) was an early pioneer in the pursuit of transparency. In 1993, the institution became the first among its peers to publish an inflation report. The Bank renewed its transparency efforts after it was granted operational independence from Her Majesty’s Government in 1997. The newly created Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was determined to build a strong public constituency in support of its price stability mandate.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the Bank’s policies and practices were subjected to even greater scrutiny, not least in the realm of transparency. In its 2014 Strategic Plan, the Bank reaffirmed its commitment to openness and accountability, and expressed its aspiration to enhance its transparency further. And other stakeholders, including the House of Commons Treasury Committee, financial market participants and the public at large, continued to seek more information about the Bank’s affairs. It is in this context that Governor Mark Carney, on behalf of the Bank of England, asked me to undertake a Review of the Bank’s transparency practices.