Bank Regulatory Structure:

The United Kingdom

GGD-95-38: Published: Dec 29, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the structure and operations of the Bank of England, the United Kingdom's banking regulatory agency.

GAO found that: (1) the Bank is recognized as the primary regulator and sole supervisor of authorized banks in the United Kingdom; (2) the Bank's primary purpose is to protect the interests of depositors; (3) the Bank has the authority to examine and request information from banks and to require accounting firms to produce reports on bank records and controls; (4) full-scope, on-site bank examinations are carried out by an 11-member bank review team; (5) the Board of Banking Supervision is an independent committee that advises the Bank on its actions and is generally viewed as a valuable component of banking supervision; (6) the Board's involvement in the Bank's supervisory activities has recently been strengthened; (7) the Bank has responsibilities in other bank-related activities, such as liquidity provision, crisis management, payments settlement, international negotiations, and lender of last resort; and (8) the Bank provides staff to the deposit protection system, although the Deposit Protection Fund is privately funded through levies on authorized banks with no direct financial backing from the Bank or U.K. taxpayers.

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