Jon Cunliffe: Recollections on financial stability

Speech by Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor for Financial Stability of the Bank of England, at The Oxford Union, Oxford, 2 March 2022.

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

Central bank speech  | 
03 March 2022

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Bank of England or the Financial Policy Committee. I would like to thank Yuliya Baranova, Edward Denbee, Zane Jamal, Ed Manuel, Rupal Patel, Simon Pittaway, George Pugh, Sophie Stone, Nick Vause, Konstantin Wiemer, Matt Waldron and Danny Walker for their help in preparing the text. I would like to thank Andrew Bailey, Sarah Breeden, Jon Hall and Michael Salib for their helpful comments.

Almost exactly 25 years ago, on the day after a general election, I was handed the incoming government's surprise, detailed plan for giving the Bank of England operational independence in monetary policy making.

I was a Treasury official at the time. I was allowed to tell only a couple of colleagues and together we worked through that night and over the subsequent Bank Holiday weekend so that, three days after taking office, the new Chancellor could announce not just that he was giving the Bank monetary policy independence from  that day but the key details of how the new system would work.

Over subsequent months, we prepared the necessary legislation, redrawing the functions of the Bank of England, and managed its passage through Parliament until the Bank of England Act 1998 was on the statute book.