Bank of England might finally stop destroying historical records

Peter Spence
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Some small steps towards transparency at the Bank of England.

The central bank has appointed Governor Kevin Warsh to undertake a review of the Bank's transcripts policy.

At present, recordings of the Bank of England's meetings are routinely destroyed once minutes have been finalised.

Warsh, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and member of the Federal Open Market Committee, will investigate whether those recordings should be preserved.

He'll also be looking at whether it's worth later publishing a full transcript of Monetary Policy Committee discussions and decisions.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in a release that he and his fellow governors "look forward to gaining his perspectives on this important issue."

At present the Bank of England lags other leading central banks in this area. The US Federal Reserve publishes transcripts with a five year delay; the Bank of Japan after a period of 10 years.

Only the European Central Bank is more opaque among the big four central banks, electing to release just a summary of meetings 30 years after they take place. The first are not due until 2028.