The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Sometimes known as the 'Old Lady' of Threadneedle Street, the Bank was founded in 1694, nationalised on 1 March 1946, and gained independence in 1997. Standing at the centre of the UK's financial system, the Bank is committed to promoting and maintaining monetary and financial stability as its contribution to a healthy economy.
One of the Bank of England's two core purposes is monetary stability. Monetary stability means stable prices - low inflation - and confidence in the currency. Stable prices are defined by the Government's inflation target, which the Bank seeks to meet through the decisions on interest rates taken by the Monetary Policy Committee.
The Bank's role is to contribute to maintaining the stability of the UK financial system. It aims to identify and draw attention to potential vulnerabilities and risks and to assist in efforts to ensure the system remains resilient and risks are reduced.
Substantial work is underway in the light of the recent financial market turmoil to help rebuild confidence in financial institutions, and to reduce the likelihood and impact of a recurrence.