Bank of England (BOE)

The Bank of England (or BOE) is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Sometimes known as the 'Old Lady' of Threadneedle Street, the Bank was founded in 1694, nationalized on 1 March 1946, and gained independence in 1997.

It is the second oldest central bank in the world (the oldest being the Sveriges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden) established in 1668).

The Bank has two core purposes - monetary stability and financial stability. The Bank has had a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales since the early 20th century. But it is only since 1997 that the Bank has had statutory responsibility for setting the UK's official interest rate.

Interest rate decisions are taken by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The MPC has to judge what interest rate is necessary to meet a target for overall inflation in the economy. The inflation target is set each year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Bank implements its interest rate decisions through its financial market operations - it sets the interest rate at which the Bank lends to banks and other financial institutions.

The website of the Bank of England is http://www.bankofengland.co.uk

You can find more details on Bank of England's functions in the following pamphlet:
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/about/pdfs/whatthebankdoes1.pdf