Bank Notes

Matthew Cooper made this Freedom of Information request to Bank of England

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Bank of England,

Is the promise to pay on BoE promisory notes an obligation of the BoE or HM Treasury. In the US, FRNs are obligations of the US Treasury so I was wondering if it is similar in the UK?

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Cooper

Enquiries, Bank of England

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 22 September (our ref FF 24480).

We will reply in due course.

If you have any queries please contact the Bank's Public Information and Enquiries Group on 020 7601 4878.

Public Information & Enquiries Group
Bank of England |Threadneedle Street|London|EC2R 8AH|+44 20 7601 4878
[Bank of England request email]

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Enquiries, Bank of England

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cooper

Please find attached a response to your email dated 22 September below.

Yours sincerely

Public Information & Enquiries Group
Bank of England |Threadneedle Street|London|EC2R 8AH|+44 (0)20 7601 4878
[Bank of England request email]

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brian ovens left an annotation ()

So who do they make this obligation to?

Matthew Cooper left an annotation ()

This is all very interesting, the notes I am referring to are bank notes. The obligation is to the 'bearer on demand', meaning the holder of the note.

My question is, I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds of what?? What's backing all this? Berth Certificates? Who knows?

Fascinating Stuff!

Dear Enquiries,

I should let you know that the promisory notes I am referring to are known as money to many people. Is your answer still valid in consideration of this point?

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Cooper

brian ovens left an annotation ()

Yes, I agree. The thing is they did away with the gold standard backing years ago, so why did they leave the promise to pay on demand on the notes? My thinking is, someone somewhere collects these and cashes them in for gold/silver.

Matthew Cooper left an annotation ()

The important thing is that ALL bank notes are notes, which are aka. promisory notes. So whether they left the promise on or not, it is still a promise to pay. I have found out many other interesting facts about the bank, including the fact that the BoE buys loan securities from commercial banks, and the UK is bankrupt!

Enquiries, Bank of England

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cooper

Please find attached a response to your email dated 2 October below.

Yours sincerely

Public Information & Enquiries Group
Bank of England |Threadneedle Street|London|EC2R 8AH|+44 (0)20 7601 4878 [Bank of England request email]

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