Mr Abdul Hai
Information Access Team
via e-mail to:
020 3461 4878
020 3461 5460
14 July 2020
Please quote ref. CAS-22533-R3R1C2 on all
Dear Mr Hai
Thank you for your email of 19 June in which you ask for access to the following under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (‘FoI Act’) relating to the Bank of England’s (the ‘Bank’s’) statement in relation to its
links to the slave trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth century:
‘Can you publish doucments associated with the decision to apoligise about slavery and to
remove statues and paintings?
Mainly who came up with the policy?
Who apporoved it?
Who was consulted.’
The Bank’s statement sought to acknowledge and apologise for the inexcusable connections that former
Governors and Directors had to the slave trade. The decision to publish a statement reflects the
importance that the Bank places on diversity and the desire to be transparent about our history.
Understandably, this issue is emotive and the Bank was conscious of the need for it to be handled
seriously and sensitively. The statement was therefore discussed by senior colleagues, including at
executive director level, and approved by the Governor, Andrew Bailey. Representatives of the Bank’s
BEEM (Bank of England Ethnic Minorities) network, were also consulted on the content of the statement.
The Bank understands that actions speak louder than words. That is why the statement referred to the
review of the Bank’s collection of images of former Governors and Directors to understand any historical
involvement in the slave trade, and explained that the Bank will remove from display any that do have
those links. This review is ongoing.
The statement also referred to the Bank’s wider work on improving diversity and fostering inclusion and
our active engagement with colleagues across the Bank to look at what concrete steps we can take going
In 2019, the Bank launched the BAME Taskforce in recognition of the need to improve the representation
of BAME colleagues at senior levels and to improve both retention and the working environment for all
BAME colleagues. The Taskforce has overseen a number of actions. These include rolling out Let’s Talk
About Race workshops, introducing enhanced objectives for people managers and expanding the Bank’s
sponsorship programme to more BAME colleagues. These are all important steps but the Bank
acknowledges that there is more work to be done on diversity and inclusion. As the Governor commented,
he has “always thought that our staff want — and deserve — a workplace where they can see role models
and everyone has an opportunity. We need to work to make this happen.”
I hope this response helps you to understand how seriously the Bank takes this issue. Further, we hope
that the response provides sufficient information to answer your queries satisfactorily, but if there is an
element that we have not addressed, we would be pleased to consider a clarified request from you.
Information Access Team
Your right to complain under the FoI Act
If you are unhappy with the Bank’s response, you may ask for that decision to be reviewed internally. Please note that this will be
subject to the Bank having received your submission within two months of the date of this response. In order to submit an internal
review, please set out the grounds for your appeal and send it to Wendy Galvin, Information Access Team (TS-Mz), Communications
Directorate, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH or by email to email@example.com for the
attention of Wendy Galvin.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for
a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
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