Safe and sound banks
A resilient financial system
We are the UK’s central bank
One of our main jobs is to make sure you can pay for things easily and securely in the UK. So we produce banknotes (cash) and oversee many of the other payment systems you use (eg with a debit or credit card).
We also work to keep the cost of living stable so your money keeps its purchasing power. One way we do this is by changing the main interest rate in the UK.
And we regulate UK banks and other financial firms so you know they are safe and sound.
Bank of England's Knowledge Bank guide to 'What is the Bank of England?'
Hi, my name is Tiago, and I work at the Bank of England. The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom.
We’re different to a bank that you would come across in the high street. That means we don’t hold accounts or make loans to the public. We issue banknotes that you spend in shops. There are over 3 billion of these notes in circulation, worth over £60 billion.
We set the official interest rate for the United Kingdom. This is called Bank Rate. It directly influences the cost of savings, loans and mortgage rates.
The Bank of England also keeps a close watch on the financial system, so you can have confidence that your money is safe, in good times and in bad.
We provide ways to pay for things safely
We produce £5, £10, £20 and £50 banknotes you can trust. They have security features that make them difficult to counterfeit (fake). Our new £50 completes our most secure set of Bank of England polymer banknotes yet.
We supervise payment services (eg VISA), which help you pay for things easily and safely. We also run the core services that enable people, businesses and banks to make large transfers (eg CHAPS), and the banks to settle balances among themselves.
We keep price rises low and stable
We guard the value of your money by keeping prices stable. The measure of how much prices go up over time is called inflation.
Our Prudential Regulation Authority regulates and supervises all the major banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and investment firms in the UK.
We keep the whole UK financial system stable
People need a stable financial system and it’s our job to make sure the UK has one.
A financial system connects people who want to save, invest or borrow money. It's a vital part of our economy.
We keep the UK’s financial system stable by keeping a close watch on any risks and taking action, if we need to.
For example, we can lend to banks if they need it to ensure they can continue to lend to businesses and support the economy. And we make sure that a failing bank doesn’t cause problems for the depositors, UK taxpayers or the wider economy.
How we do our job
We gather data
We gather and analyse data from banks and building societies, credit unions, insurers and mortgage companies. We publish much of it in our regular statistical releases.
Research helps us to make better decisions. Data is an important part of this work. But we also listen to businesses and local communities around the UK.