On 11 February 2021, the Bank of England (BoE) published a speech by its Governor, Andrew Bailey, entitled ‘A resilient financial system’.

Among other things Mr Bailey mentions that:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been the first major test of the post-financial crisis reforms to regulatory standards and in Mr Bailey’s assessment the outcome mainly passes the test of resilience although there is work to do on the lessons from the previous ‘dash for cash’ and because the positive benefits of innovation create their own challenges.
  • Putting the notion of resilience into practice in the world of financial stability has been the work of the post global financial crisis years. There are two central planks to this work: (i) providing a strong counter-cyclical capacity; and (ii) structural measures which are not designed to vary in a counter-cyclical manner, but instead apply equally at all times. For banks, this means minimum capital and leverage ratios on top of which sit buffers which are there to be used counter-cyclically in times of stress.
  • Post-Brexit, it is necessary that the BoE reviews and, where appropriate, revises the regulatory system to make it consistent with its UK specific objectives.
  • Resilience is highly relevant to the international financial system and the approach to international regulatory standards. In Mr Bailey’s view resilience is best achieved and maintained through an open and well-governed international financial system.