The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Sometimes known as the 'Old Lady' of Threadneedle Street, the Bank was founded in 1694, nationalised on 1 March 1946, and gained independence in 1997.
Standing at the centre of the UK's financial system, the Bank is committed to promoting and maintaining monetary and financial stability as its contribution to a healthy economy. The Bank's roles and functions have evolved and changed over its three-hundred year history. Since its foundation, it has been the Government's banker and, since the late 18th century, it has been banker to the banking system more generally - the bankers' bank. As well as providing banking services to its customers, the Bank of England manages the UK's foreign exchange and gold reserves.
The Bank has two core purposes - monetary stability and financial stability. The Bank is perhaps most visible to the general public through its banknotes and, more recently, its interest rate decisions. The Bank has had a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales since the early 20th century. But it is only since 1997 that the Bank has had statutory responsibility for setting the UK's official interest rateInterest rates decisions are taken by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee. The MPC has to judge what interest rate is necessary to meet a target for overall inflation in the economy. The inflation target is set each year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Bank implements its interest rate decisions through its financial market operations - it sets the interest rate at which the Bank lends to banks and other financial institutions. The Bank has close links with financial markets and institutions. This contact informs a great deal of its work, including its financial stability role and the collation and publication of monetary and banking statistics.
The Bank of England is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of its activities and responsibilities, across both general and specialist audiences alike. It produces a large number of regular and ad hoc publications on key aspects of its work and offers a range of educational materials. The Bank offers technical assistance and advice to other central banks through its Centre for Central Banking Studies, and has a museum at its premises in Threadneedle Street in the City of London, open to members of the public free of charge.
Careers at the Bank
As a place of work, the Bank feels different from most other organisations. The atmosphere is relaxed but highly professional, research-driven and also very much connected to real events in the economy. While organisations in the private sector are focused primarily on profits, the ultimate objectives for us are always the quality of our thinking and the rigour of our analysis.That makes for an unusually satisfying place to develop your career. Whichever area of the Bank you join, you will almost certainly be working on high-profile and high-impact projects. The issues we deal with on a daily basis can be seen in the news headlines, and have implications for everyone in the country. For many of our people, this sense of contributing to the public good is one of the most rewarding aspects of working here.
The environment we offer is extraordinary too. Our historic building is located in the heart of the City, and combines rich tradition with up-to-date technology and facilities. Just as importantly, we have a strong culture of support that exists both within each of our teams and across the organisation as a whole.
Culture and diversity
The Bank is wholly committed to diversity and equality for all staff. Our reputation is built on the quality and professionalism of our people, so creating a truly diverse environment with no barriers to achievement is integral to our business strategy. All staff receive diversity training. As well as being reviewed and developed at the highest levels by the Bank’s Senior Diversity Champions, our diversity programme is supported by employee networks. Providing valuable support and networking opportunities, they are initiated and managed by the staff themselves, but have full support of the Bank. Our current networks focus on women and gay and lesbian staff.
We are an international team.
There are currently 42 different nationalities within the Bank, helping to make this a truly multicultural environment. We have an extensive induction course aimed specifically at foreign national entrants. This helps them to integrate into the organisation by understanding our practices and culture.We are members of key diversity organisations, including Opportunity Now, Race for Opportunity, and the Employers Forums on Age and Disability. We are an approved user of the ‘Positive about Disabled People’ symbol, meaning that any disabled person who meets our essential entry criteria is guaranteed to reach the first stage of our selection process. We have experience to prove that disability does not preclude success in employment and we encourage applications from disabled people. We hope that our commitment to diversity – to recognising and realising the potential of all our staff – will help the Bank to maintain a highly motivated workforce and a reputation for excellence.
Learning and development
It is important that the Bank not only succeeds in attracting the most talented people, but also helps them to continually progress their skills and their knowledge. That’s why we offer a rich programme of training opportunities for all employees, plus chances to develop through new responsibilities or roles.Indeed, many people have said that the Bank feels like an academic environment as much as a professional one. This partly stems from the high-quality research that is conducted here in support of our operations, but it’s also to do with the way that knowledge and expertise are shared openly and energetically within our teams.In addition to the on-the-job learning that happens on a daily basis, the Bank provides a huge range of opportunities for more formal development. Just one example of this is our three-year structured graduate programme, which in 2008 was recognised as the ‘Best Graduate Development Programme’ and ‘Best of the Best’ by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. We also have specific development programmes for secretaries, for accountants and for project managers – and all our people are supported to achieve professional qualifications where they fit business needs.
Benefits and rewards
The Bank’s reward package is designed to attract world-class talent, and consists of three main elements. On top of a competitive salary, you will receive core benefits and a flexible benefits allowance. This allows you to tailor your package to meet your own individual needs.Salaries are reviewed annually, with discretionary cash bonus payments awarded for good performance. There is also a separate scheme operated throughout the year which rewards people who identify business improvements and efficiency gains.Our core benefits are offered to all staff. They are: a non-contributory career average pension; private medical insurance; 25 days’ annual leave; interest-free season ticket loan; and life assurance cover of double your annual salary.
Our flexible benefits allow you to enhance your core benefits by using an allowance worth 7% of your salary (although you can also take this allowance as non-pensionable cash or spend some of your salary on benefits if you prefer). The choice of flexible benefits includes: Wellbeing benefits, such as private medical insurance for your partner or children, additional pension, health screening, and different health insurance options. Lifestyle benefits, such as up to 10 days’ additional leave, childcare vouchers and car breakdown cover. Leisure benefits, such as membership of the in-house gym and retail vouchers.
Supporting quality of life
People on our teams are engaged in challenging and demanding projects, often going the extra mile to deliver the high-quality outcomes expected of the Bank. Having said that, this is certainly not an organisation where long hours are expected as a matter of course. In fact, our aim is to be a flexible employer that helps people to achieve the best work-life balance.Traditional working patterns don’t suit everyone, and people’s circumstances can also vary greatly over the course of a career. We provide a number of options for our staff, including variable hours, part-time working and working from home – all of which are accommodated when business requirements permit. We encourage flexible working of all types and ensure that opportunities and promotion are based on merit and contribution, regardless of an individual’s working pattern.
Our on-site facilities play an important role in supporting our people’s work-life balance, too. A health centre in the Bank’s vault includes a medical unit and a dental facility, meaning it is quick and convenient to make appointments during your working week. There are also catering facilities within the Bank, including a restaurant, a coffee bar and a deli. A very popular area of the Bank is the fully-equipped gym in the vaults that offers a variety of classes throughout the day, such as aerobics and Pilates. And for those who prefer their exercise outside, we have a 32-acre sports club at Roehampton with tennis courts, football, cricket, hockey and rugby pitches, as well as an indoor swimming pool.
Bank of England Threadneedle Street