In somewhat surprising news, the Bank of England has launched a new blog on Friday, June 19th. The blog is titled Bank Underground, and will cover a broad range of topics, including the opinions of some members of the bank’s staff that do not necessarily coincide with the bank’s official views.

Bank Of England Bank Underground

More on the Bank of England’s new Bank Underground blog

As described in the About page of the blog website, Bank Underground is a new blog where posts will be authored by staff at the Bank of England. The main impetus behind the blog is “to bring more of our thinking into the public domain and to showcase our analytical and research output. We hope to contribute to the wider debate on areas that are relevant to the Bank’s work.”

Bank of England’s Strategic Plan (published in 2014) calls for a new publication to provide insight into trending issues from a staff perspective rather than that of the official  boards of the bank. The moniker Bank Underground was selected by a vote from a shortlist of names nominated by staff.

Of note, the authors in the Bank of England’s new blog are all writing as individuals and there is no “house view”. Obviously, given the bank’s analysis is a part of the UK government’s policy-making process, some posts here will certainly be in general accord with the Bank’s official views or provide additional support for them. However, given the diversity of views held by those who work here, you will regularly find posts which differ from the official position of BoE, general consensus views, and even occasional disagreements between contributors to the blog.

BoE’s first blog is on the impact of driverless cars on the insurance industry

Google plans to launch a self-driving car in five years. The tech titan claims the vehicles will have been driven nearly one million miles without causing an accident by the time it is commercially available.

The driverless car technology works using a rotating LIDAR laser that takes 1.3 million images per second. Keep in mind that by eliminating human error, driverless cars will cut auto accidents by up to 90% in the U.S., according to research firm McKinsey. The BoE blog suggests this will have a “substantial impact on the insurance industry, with liability potentially shifting to car manufacturers.” The blog goes on to point out that “such developments would pose challenging questions for the PRA in regulating UK insurance firms.”