The Bank of England has increased its IT budget to nearly £100 million, according to official figures.

The data, obtained by the Conservative Parliament Street think tank under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation revealed that the BoE spent £98.8m on tech last year, up from £87.7m the previous year – an increase of 12%. 

In total, 704 IT staff working for BoE’s Governor Andrew Bailey shared a salary pot of £48.9m, making the average salary in the tech team £69,000 per annum.

Patrick Sullivan, chairman of Parliament Street, accused the central bank of operating “like an LA reality TV show”.

“With sky high interest and the cost-of-living crisis hitting families hard, Governor Bailey should be showing restraint instead of embarking on a Kardashian-style spending spree,” he said. 

“Once upon a time Threadneedle Street was a shining example of prudence.”

Separate research from last week revealed that Threadneedle Street gave 4,460 staff “performance awards” in the financial year ending in 2023. The highest single bonus paid was worth £22,590 and more than 400 staff were given awards of more than £10,000.

It has also been reported that more than 500 people at the Bank now earn more than £100,000 per year.

However, some city firms defended the extra investment.

Achi Lewis, area VP EMEA for Absolute Software, said: “Increasing tech investment is critical for driving efficiencies and protecting against security risks. 

“Organisations like the Bank of England manage large volumes of highly sensitive data across a wide network of endpoints, so having high quality, resilient IT in place is an essential step forward.”

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Cybersecurity expert Oseloka Obiora, CTO at RiverSafe, added: “Beefing up IT investment is a critical step for organisations tackling the tidal wave of highly sophisticated AI-enabled cyber threats. 

“The BoE manages very complex volumes of important financial data, that requires the highest levels of security, so these measures to increase tech support are a step in the right direction.”

Khalid Talukder, co-founder of DKK Partners, said: “The BoE sits at the very heart of the UK’s financial system, so this kind of heavy tech investment is critical for ensuring long term monetary stability. 

“Cranking up IT budgets is a sign that our aged central bank is finally catching up with the rest of the world.”

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