The Bank of England has made good progress with its streamlining strategy, but must do more to encourage cultural changes, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
The NAO’s review of the Bank’s “One Mission, One Bank” strategy — devised in 2014 as a three year plan to better unify the institution — said problems had been clearly diagnosed and methods of improvement clearly outlined.
But there was “further to go” in changing the culture of the Bank, particularly with regard to empowering staff and streamlining decision making.
Indeed, only 48% of staff agreed with the statement that “decisions are made at the appropriate level within the Bank.”
The review also identified IT as a key sticking point: improvements to the Bank’s IT systems, it said, had proved “much more complex than expected.” These updates are now not expected to be completed until February 2019.
“Clear responsibility for delivering the strategy and consistent leadership has enabled the Bank to make progress towards building ‘One Bank,'” said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO. “Some of the more challenging elements, however, such as embedding cultural change and delivering significant data projects will require a longer-term sustained effort,” she said.
The NAO said progress in diversifying the Bank was on track, apart from its target relating to the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff in senior positions. In November 2016, 6.2% of the Bank’s senior staff were BAME; the target for 2020 is 10%.
The NAO also reported that the strategy was due to come in under budget, and is now expected to be £94.9 million down from an initial projection of £120 million.
Outdated and inefficient IT systems were criticised on Wednesday by IT services provider Managed 24/7 as costing the UK economy £35 billion every year in wasted time.