Bank of England Roundtable

On August 22nd, 12 business leaders and Members of the Chamber were invited to attend an interesting roundtable event with Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England. Following this enlightening event, I wanted to share some key notes from the meeting, in order to share the output with all our Members.

Andrew started by noted that recovery has not repaired 2.5 years of lost growth and is now at 2019 pre covid levels.

When discussing ‘International Shocks’ he mentioned:

  • Covid – Brought a shift in demand from services to goods, particularly in the USA. Goods more dependent on transport hence the ‘supply chain shock’ experienced.
  • Increased demand – pushed up supply chain prices. China continues to enforce lockdowns following ‘zero covid’ policy. This is partly because their vaccines aren’t proving as effective. This caused the first push on inflation globally.
  • Russia/Ukraine – Excess inflation on food and energy is directly linked to the war and is therefore the highest contribution to inflation. Uncertainty continues due to reduced supply, negotiations on volumes and winter.

Andrew continued by evaluating the ‘Domestic Shocks’:

  • UK labour force missing 500,000 – 1,000,000 EU workers due to Brexit and Covid.
  • Older, long term sickness means 200,000 – 300,000 are not working.
  • Long term illnesses are not getting NHS treatment.
  • The ratio of women to men in work is increasing.
  • £2.0b in excess household savings. Individuals are living off these savings until retirement and we’re unsure if they’ll return to work.
  • 3-4 day/week for some workers.
  • Rising inflation means reduced income to spend.
  • The economy is slowing due to reduced spending but not the labour market.
  • A large hit on income.
  • Next energy process coming in October and is not likely to reduce.
  • Bank forecast inflation is likely to increase by 50% (not to!)
  • Inflation should fall quickly.


Feedback to Andrew from our local businesses by sector included the following notes:

5 Local manufacturers (goods and food supply):

  • Higher labour due to material supply inconsistencies.
  • Microchip supply critical anything electronic based is a real challenge.
  • Only know if they are running tomorrow if chip supply arrives today. Supply chain issues are making the production process inefficient.
  • Demand starting to slow now.
  • Looking at one off cost of living bonus – in various forms.

Commercial property business

  • Property market has peaked.
  • Big warehouse building stopped.
  • Capital markets – international money dried up, has been great returns, but not now.
  • Cusp of significant downturn.
  • Paying one off hardship bonus £100/month for 5 months.

Marketing and Events management business

  • A digital marketing expert 5 years ago £40,000 pa, now £100,000 pa to retain.


  • Lifestyle changes – retiring early.
  • Younger staff do not want to attend work related external events in evening/weekends.


  • Super deduction not stimulating investment.
  • Junior managers moving for 20% increases and working for London or Birmingham higher profile businesses via hybrid working.
  • More non-financial rewards – for example, birthdays off.

Recruitment Agency

  • Permanent employment – high incentives not to move. Candidates with multiple offers and bargaining with highest salary.
  • Temporary employment.
  • Short term – prefer now longer security, days only, unsocial shift pay increasing.
  • Fewer 16-25 year olds, meaning there are less people joining the market.
  • Cost of travel to the office.
  • Candidates moving where hybrid working is permanent.
  • Annual bonus paid 50% early the rest on hold to force staff retention.
  • Seasonal workers moving to hospitality for more social hours, 5 days, security of income.


  • Premiums rising!
  • Value of property rising and putting into question whether premium is accurate for re-build for example.
  • Problems attracting new staff to enter insurance industry.
  • Working with local schools and colleges.
  • Specialising in areas such as charity and haulage where specific insurance cab save costs.


Although the discussion and debate highlighted the huge shock factors of the economy both nationally and internationally, it was unfortunately clear that some pain was still to come for businesses local and around the globe.

Until next time, Mike