Minutes of the CBDC Engagement Forum – September 2023


Date: 18 September 2023

Item 1: Welcome

Co-chairs Gwyneth Nurse and Jon Cunliffe welcomed Members to the sixth meeting of the CBDC Engagement Forum (the Forum).

Item 2: Economic Secretary to the Treasury remarks and roundtable discussion

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (EST) thanked members for the contribution to the CBDC Engagement Forum, noting the importance of hearing from experts to ensure the Bank of England (the Bank) and His Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) understand the commercial, technical and operational opportunities and challenges of a digital pound. The EST noted that the Government had committed to primary legislation ahead of any introduction of the digital pound.

The EST invited members’ thoughts on the development of the digital pound.

Members stressed the importance of continuing to engage the public on the digital pound proposals, given concerns about consumer privacy, potential uses of programmable functions in a digital pound, and related developments in cash use. Members emphasised it was critical to have merchant perspectives represented from the outset of the design phase to get their input on matters such as use cases and merchant needs, implementation costs, and practical issues around acceptance of digital pound payments. It was noted that it was important to ensure that the voice of smaller merchants was represented in such discussions. Other members raised the importance of reviewing the technical aspects of implementing a digital pound such as interoperability and architecture considerations, and perhaps using the existing retail payments infrastructure as a reference point. Some members commented on the relationship between the digital pound and the banking system, including implications for banking business models and financial stability, particularly with regard to potential deposit disintermediation and attendant impacts on bank funding and credit cost and availability.

Item 3: Engagement Forum refresh and working groups

Co-Chairs welcomed new members to the Forum following an open and competitive application process. It was noted that two working groups, on offline payments and retailer needs, are being established in order to explore these topics in more depth. Calls for membership of these groups were advertised on the Bank’s website. The Bank and HMT set out that they will be setting up further working groups over the course of the design phase and welcomed the Forum’s input on topics for future working groups.

Item 4: Project Rosalind

The Bank presented findings from Project Rosalind, a project run jointly with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub London centre. Project Rosalind sought to design an application programme interface (API) prototype for retail CBDC, along with a set of API standards, and a sandbox which exposed the API on top of a sample CBDC system to allow participants to experiment with innovative payment use cases. The project delivered 30+ use cases across payments, conditional payments, and integration with other products. A final report on Project Rosalind was published in June 2023.

Members acknowledged the value of Project Rosalind, and asked the presenting team about hurdles encountered, identification of further CBDC use cases, such as the ability to provide the basis for a wider settlement infrastructure for digital assets, and learnings for CBDC design.

Item 5: Digital Pound design phase objectives

HMT set out high-level information on the building blocks of work expected in the design phasefootnote [1]. They noted the Bank and HMT are entering a “design phase” that will assess technical and operational considerations in more detail and inform the decision on whether the project moves into a build phase. The presentation covered the aims of the design phase (as set out in the February 2023 consultation paper), described the four main categories of work in the design phase, and the role of the Forum in the design phase. The presentation noted the Bank and HMT’s ongoing review of consultation responses, and that a consultation response document would be published later this year.

One member asked whether the Bank and HMT would remain open to alternative models for a digital pound. The co-Chairs noted that the digital pound’s proposed model, and any assessment of it, would need to take account of the evolving payments landscape, trends, and consultation responses, but that the Design Phase work would be based on the model proposed in the consultation, subject to any adjustments to that model to take account of consultation feedback.

Closing remarks

The co-Chairs closed the meeting and thanked members for their contributions. Jon Cunliffe noted this was his last Forum meeting and that Sarah Breeden would co-Chair the next meeting following her appointment as Deputy Governor for Financial Stability, from 1 November 2023.


Jon Cunliffe (co-Chair) – Bank of England

Gwyneth Nurse (co-Chair) – HM Treasury

Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Items 1 and 2 only)

Neeraj Patel – HM Treasury

Sarah Breeden – Bank of England

Tom Mutton – Bank of England

Nick McLaren – Bank of England

Katie Fortune – Bank of England

Danny Russell – Bank of England

Amy Jiang – Bank of England


Adam Jackson, Director of Policy, Innovate Finance

Anne Boden, Non-Executive Director, Starling Bank

Arvin Abraham, Partner, Goodwin Procter

Arunan Tharmarajah, Head of European Banking, Wise

Bryan Zhang, Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Chris Rhodes, CFO, Nationwide Building Society

Colin Bell, CEO, HSBC Bank Plc and HSBC Europe

Etay Katz, Senior Partner, Ashurst

Hannah Regan, Financial Policy Lead, British Retail Consortium

Jana Mackintosh, Managing Director Payments & Innovation, UK Finance

Martin McTague, National Policy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses

Nabil Manji, Head of Crypto and Web3, Worldpay

Natasha de Terán, Member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel

Neha Narula, Director of Digital Currency Initiative, MIT

Ruth Wandhöfer, Chair, PSR Panel

Simon Coles, CTO, PayPoint

Simon Gaysford, Founder & Director, Frontier Economics

Simon Gleeson, Financial Regulatory Group Lead, Clifford Chance

William Chalmers, Group CFO, Lloyds Banking Group


Andrew Murphy, Executive Director for Operations, John Lewis Partnership

Charlotte Hogg, CEO, Visa Europe

David Grunwald, Director of Innovation and Partnerships, NatWest Group

Diana Layfield, President of EMEA Partnerships, Google

Harry Newman, Head of Market and Client Strategy, SWIFT

Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, MasterCard

Kate Frankish, Chief Business Development Officer, PayUK

Mick McAteer, Co-Director, the Financial Inclusion Centre

Paul Bances, Head of Global Market Development of Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Digital Currencies, PayPal

Reema Patel, Head of Deliberative Engagement, Ipsos UK

Tracey McDermott, Group Head of Conduct & Financial Crime, Standard Chartered Bank


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