Andrew G Haldane: Seizing the opportunities from digital finance

Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England, at TheCityUK 10th Anniversary Conference, 18 November 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
18 November 2020

Let me thank the TheCityUK for the opportunity to speak at this 10th Anniversary event at such a critical time for the financial services sector and the economy as a whole. We all live in hope of the three Rs that are the theme of the conference - Recovery, Rebalancing and Revitalisation. With the recent positive news about vaccines, that hope is now justified. I want to discuss today the three R's in the context of financial services.

Covid is a twin crisis, a health crisis and an economic crisis rolled into one. It has exposed every person and every business in every country in the world to that double jeopardy. In the UK, it has already resulted in over 50,000 deaths, more than 1 million people losing their jobs, around 9 million people seeing their incomes fall and almost the whole country feeling more anxious about the future.

For those reasons, the Covid crisis risks leaving lasting scars on us as individuals and on the wider economy. Economic scars, such as persistently lower levels of investment and innovation and persistently higher levels of unemployment and debt, which drag on economic growth. And psychological scars, such as increased levels of caution in how and how much we interact, travel and spend.