Carney Invites BOE’s Online Fans to Discussion on Climate, Cash

(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England’s top officials tried a new form of outreach on Monday, inviting the most enthusiastic participants of a series of online question-and-answer sessions to the central bank’s headquarters.

Governor Mark Carney, Chief Operating Officer Joanna Place, Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy Ben Broadbent, Chief Cashier Sarah John and regulation chief Sam Woods fielded questions on the creation of cash, financial technology, climate change, and cryptocurrency during a live-streamed roundtable discussion.

The event was the climax of the BOE’s Future Forum, designed to increase awareness of the central bank. Carney and other officials have traveled outside of London to hold the event in previous years, but the current version has moved online.

Key Insights

  • BOE sees demand for cash for foreseeable future, according to Sarah John. She said they have seen anecdotally that there’s been an increase since the referendum result in overseas demand for notes due to the exchange rate.
  • Carney said that privacy could be an issue in the creation of a central bank digital currency.
  • On fintech, Ramsden says inclusion, protection have been key part of discussions, and “the pace of change is speeding up.”
    • “We need to embrace fintech because it’s important to deliver our mission for monetary and financial stability,” Ramsden said.
  • Carney added that new financial technologies could bridge gap in SME financing and to “watch this space” for work BOE is doing in this area.
  • Asked about companies involved in fossil fuels being included in the BOE’s previous corporate bond purchases, Carney says the bank was “very conscious to make those purchases in a way that does not distort the market.” Otherwise, unelected officials would be making political decisions.

Get More

  • A video of the full discussion can be found here.
  • Earlier this month, Carney posted more than 10,000 words in answers to questions online, twice the length as the annual Mansion House speech he delivered to the grandees of London’s financial district last year.
  • The panel didn’t touch on monetary policy directly. The BOE will announce its latest decision and publish new forecasts on growth and inflation on Feb. 7.

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