In November last year, concerns were raised that an audio feed of certain of the BoE’s press conferences was being made available to subscribers of one of the BoE’s third-party suppliers without the BoE’s permission. The BoE decided the supplier’s conduct was “wholly unacceptable” and immediately removed its access to all BoE systems to ensure that it had no further involvement in BoE press conferences. The BoE also referred the incident to the FCA.
Following the incident, the Court of Directors of the BoE (the Court) commissioned a review by the BoE’s Internal Auditor and Independent Evaluation Office. The review also examined the BoE’s internal processes as the incident raised concerns about the controls in place in relation to the BoE’s press conferences.
The review set out a number of findings and made various recommendations as to how the BoE’s internal processes could be improved going forward. The BoE has accepted these findings and its response to the report sets out how it intends to address them.
The Court intends to review the BoE’s implementation of the recommendations in December 2020.
The FCA has also released an update on its own enquiry into the BoE audio issue. The statement highlights that there was a suggestion that the audio feed had been used to share information in a way that was contrary to the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). Upon examination however, the FCA does not consider the audio feed to have contained any inside information. It also did not find any activity of concern or misconduct and therefore has closed its enquiry.