On 5 March 2019, the Bank of England (BoE) published the summary and record of its Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting of 26 February 2019. At this meeting, the FPC judged that:

  • the core of the UK financial system, including banks, dealers and insurance companies, is resilient to, and prepared for, the wide range of risks it could face, including a worst case disorderly Brexit;
  • the core banking system is strong enough to withstand the economic shocks that would accompany a worst case disorderly Brexit, with major UK banks’ capital ratios more than three times higher than before the financial crisis;
  • significant market volatility is to be expected in a disorderly Brexit. However, markets have proved able to function effectively through volatile periods;
  • major UK banks are able to withstand severe market disruption and, as a further prudent precaution, the Bank of England has operations in place to lend in all major currencies;
  • the underlying vulnerabilities in the domestic and global economies have not, on balance, changed since the November Financial Stability Report. In light of this assessment the FPC is maintaining the UK countercyclical capital buffer rate at 1% in 2019 Q1; and
  • the vulnerabilities (above) are reflected in the design of the 2019 annual cyclical scenario stress test for UK banks.