History and Origin of Bank of England

Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by admin

Bank of England was Established in year 1694 as one of the world’s eighth-oldest central banks to act as the English Government’s banker, and still one of the bankers for the Government of the United Kingdom till date.

The Bank is one of eight banks authorized to issue banknotes in the United Kingdom, has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Between 1688 and 1697, a war opposed the France of Louis XIV to the United Kingdom. When the British government of William III voted for the establishment of a new army in December 1693, it retained to finance the project of William Paterson, that of a large public loan.

Signed on April 25, 1694, the “Bank of England Charter” provides for the collection by the government of duties on the tonnage of ships and liquors in order to reward lenders who agree to pay 1.2 million pounds into the company ” The Governor and Company of the Bank of England ”, future Bank of England.

This company returns the total amount collected to the government and receives an interest in return. It thus becomes the government’s banker and the manager of its debt. Its private nature gives it great confidence on the part of individuals, which allows it to develop discounting and currency issuance activities. However, it was not until 1844 and following the Bank Charter Act that the Bank of England received the monopoly of issuing banknotes in England and Wales.

The Bank of England headquarters have been in London’s main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734. It is sometimes known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a name taken from a satirical cartoon by James Gillray in 1797. The road junction outside is known as Bank junction.

You can also read:History and Origin of United States Central Bank-Federal Reserve Bank

Until World War I, the Bank of England dominated the global gold standard system. But in the aftermath of the war, this hegemony gradually receded in favor of the United States until the Second World War led to its nationalization in 1946. It regained its independence only in 1997, the date since which it was free to set its key interest rate independently of the government.

This key interest rate is decided by the Monetary Policy Committee, whose nine members meet eight times a year. In an objective of maximum transparency, the Bank of England publishes the individual votes of the members as well as the minutes, records relating to the progress of the discussions.


In order to ensure its mission of contributing to the overall stability of the financial system, the Bank of England has a hierarchical mandate. It must first focus on price stability. If it succeeds, it can then support economic policy by promoting growth and jobs.

To achieve its objective of price stability, the Bank of England follows an inflation targeting strategy. Equivalent to the French Minister of Finance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer indeed defines an annual inflation target of 2%. Explicitly defined, this target characterizes both the great transparency shown by the Bank of England but also its relative independence vis-à-vis the government. In addition, although it is not part of the euro area, the Bank of England must, as a member of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), participate in maintaining price stability within the European Union.
The role of the Bank of England is proving crucial in the current context of Brexit.

The institution, therefore, proposed to exempt European investment banks from creating subsidiaries in the United Kingdom in order to be able to continue to exercise their activity. This cumbersome process could indeed scare away many banks and cause significant tax losses.

In addition, the Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks were founded. Founded in 1694 to act as the English government banker, and still one of the UK government bankers, it is the eighth oldest bank in the world. It was owned by private shareholders from its founding in 1694 until its nationalization in 1946 by the Attlee ministry.

The Bank became an independent public organization in 1998, 100% owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the government, but with independence in the formulation of monetary policy. The Bank is one of eight banks approved to give banknotes in the United Kingdom, has syndication on the issuance of banknotes in England and Wales, and manages the issuance of banknotes by commercial banks of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has devolved responsibility for the management of the monetary policy. The Treasury has standby powers to issue orders to the committee “if they are required in the public interest and by extreme economic circumstances,” but those orders must be approved by Parliament within 28 days. The Financial Policy Committee of the Bank held its first meeting in June 2011 as a regulator macroprudential oversee the regulation of the UK financial sector.

The bank’s central command has been in London’s fundamental budgetary locale, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street since 1734. It is now and then known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a name taken from an animation by James Gillray in 1797. The road junction outside is known as the junction of the bank. As a regulator and central bank, the Bank of England has not offered consumer banking services for many years, but it still operates some services aimed at the public such as the exchange of replaced banknotes. Until 2016, the bank offered personal banking services as a privilege for employees.

Britain’s devastating thrashing to the prevailing maritime force France in maritime commitment coming full circle at the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690 turned into the impetus for the remaking of England as a politically influential nation. The government of William III wanted to build a naval fleet that would rival that of France; however, the ability to build this fleet was hampered both by a lack of available public funds and the poor credit of the English government in London.

This lack of credit prevented the British government from borrowing the £ 1,200,000 (at 8% per annum) it wanted for the construction of the fleet. To induce subscription to the loan, the subscribers had to be incorporated under the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The Bank had sole possession of government balances and was the only limited liability company authorized to issue banknotes.

Lenders would give the administration money (bullion) and issue notes against government securities, which could be credited once more. The £ 1.2million was raised in 12 days; half of that was used to rebuild the navy. As a side effect, the enormous industrial effort required, including the establishment of a steel plant to make more nails and the advancement of agriculture fuelling the navy’s quadrupled force began to transform the economy.

This helped the new Kingdom of Great Britain – England and Scotland officially joined in 1707 – to turn out to be incredible. The might of the navy made Britain the dominant world power in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The establishment of the bank was designed by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694.

The plan of 1691, which had been proposed by William Paterson three years earlier, had not yet been implemented. 58 years sooner, in 1636, the King’s Financier, Philip Burlamachi, had proposed the very same thought in a letter to Sir Francis Windebank.

He offered a loan of 1.2 million pounds to the government; in return, policyholders would be incorporated under the name of Governor and Bank of England Company with long-term banking privileges, including the issuance of notes. The royal charter was granted on July 27 by the adoption of the 1694 law on the tonnage. The public finances were in such a dire state at the time that the terms of the loan were that it had to be repaid at a rate of 8% per annum, and there was also a service charge of £ 4,000 per annum for the loan management. . The first governor was Sir John Houblon, who is pictured in the £ 50 banknote issued in 1994.


The original Bank house was in Walbrook, a street in the City of London, where, during reconstruction in 1954, archaeologists found the remains of a Roman temple of Mithras (Mithras is – rather correctly – would have been venerated as, among others, the God of contracts); the ruins of Mithraeum are perhaps the most famous of all 20th century Roman finds in the city of London and can be seen by the public.

The Bank moved to its present location of Threadneedle Street in 1734, then slowly acquired neighboring land to create the site necessary for the erection of the original Bank house there, under the direction of its architect in chief Sir John Soane, between 1790 and 1827.

(The reconstruction of the Bank by Sir Herbert Baker in the first half of the 20th century, demolishing most of Soane’s masterpiece, has been described by the historian of Nikolaus Pevsner architecture as “the greatest architectural crime in the City of London of the 20th century”.) When the idea and reality of the national debt emerged in the 18th century, it was also managed by the Bank.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Bank’s business was so good that George Washington remained a shareholder throughout the period. By the renewal of the charter in 1781, it was also the bank of bankers – keeping enough gold to pay its notes on sight until February 26, 1797, when the war had reduced gold reserves so much that – continued to a fear of invasion caused by the Battle of Fishguard some days earlier – the government banned the Bank from paying in gold bypassing the Bank Restriction Act 1797. This ban lasted until 1821.

You can also read: History and origin of Banking in Nigeria


Bank Stock of the Bank of England, issued January 25, 1876, Bank of England (15479206598) The Bank Charter Act of 1844 linked the issuance of banknotes to gold reserves and gave the Bank exclusive rights with respect to the issuance of banknotes.

Private Banks that previously had this right would keep it, provided that their head office is outside London and that they post security against the notes they issued. A couple of English banks kept on issuing their own notes until the remainder of them was taken over during the 1930s. Scottish and North Irish private banks still have this right.

The bank acted as a lender of last resort for the first time in the panic of 1866. The last private bank in England to issue its own notes was Thomas Fox’s Fox, Fowler and Company Bank in Wellington, which grew rapidly until it merged with Lloyds Bank in 1927. They are legal tender until recently. In 1964, nine banknotes remain in circulation.


The main facade of the Bank of England Britain was on the gold standard until 1931 when the Bank of England unilaterally and abruptly removed Britain from the gold standard. Under Montagu Norman’s government from 1920 to 1944, the Bank made deliberate efforts to move away from commercial banking and become a central bank. In 1946, shortly after Norman’s term ended, the bank was nationalized by the Labour government.

The Bank pursued the multiple goals of the Keynesian economy after 1945, particularly “easy money” and low-interest rates to support aggregate demand. He tried to keep the exchange rate fixed and tried to deal with inflation and the weakness of the pound sterling with credit and exchange controls. In 1977 the Bank established a wholly-owned subsidiary called the Bank of England Nominees Limited (BOEN), a limited liability company, with two of its one hundred £ 1 shares issued.

To help maintain economic stability, the Bank attempts to broaden understanding of its role, both through regular speeches and publications by senior Bank officials, a biannual report on financial stability, and through a strategy of broader education for the general public. He currently runs a free museum and has hosted the Target Two Point Zero competition for A-level students, which will end in 2017. Ease of asset purchases.

The Bank has operated, since January 2009, an Asset Purchase Facility (APF) to purchase “high-quality assets financed through the issuance of Treasury bills and DMO of cash management operations” and ” thus improve liquidity in the credit markets. It has also provided, since March 2009, the mechanism by which the Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) policy is implemented, under the auspices of the MPC.

Along with managing the £ 200 billion QE funds, the APF continues to operate its facilities. Both are undertaken by a subsidiary of the Bank of England, the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund Limited (BEAPFF). The Bank has issued notes since 1694. Notes were originally written by hand; although they were partially printed from 1725 onwards, cashiers still had to sign each note and make them payable to someone. Notes were fully printed from 1855. Until 1928 all notes were “White Notes”, imprinted in dark and with a clear converse.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, White Notes were issued in denominations of £ 1 and £ 2. During the 20th century, White Notes were issued in denominations of between £ 5 and £ 1,000. Until the mid-19th century, commercial banks were permitted to issue their own banknotes, and banknotes issued by provincial banking companies were commonly in circulation.

The Bank Charter Act 1844 started the process of restricting the issuance of notes to the Bank; new banks were not allowed to issue their own banknotes and existing banknote issuers were not allowed to expand their issuance.

At the point when the commonplace financial organizations converged to frame bigger banks, they lost their entitlement to give banknotes, and the English private banknote, in the long run, vanished, leaving the Bank with an imposing business model on giving banknotes in England and in Wales.

The last private bank to issue its own notes in England and Wales was Fox, Fowler, and Company in 1921. However, the limits of the 1844 Act only affected banks in England and Wales, and today three commercial banks in Scotland and four in Northern Ireland continue to issue their own banknotes, regulated by the bank. At the beginning of the First World War, the 1914 Law on the currency and banknotes has been adopted, which granted HM Treasury temporary authority for issuing tickets worth £ 1 and 10 / – ( ten shillings).

Treasury bills were legal tender and were not convertible into gold through the Bank; they replaced the gold coin in circulation to avoid a rush on the pound sterling and to allow purchases of raw materials for the production of weapons. These notes included a picture of King George V (Bank of England notes didn’t start to show a picture of the ruler until 1960).

The wording of each note was: UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND – Banknotes are legal tender for the payment of any amount – Issued by Her Majesty’s Lords Commissioners of the Treasury under the authority of an Act of Parliament (4 & 5 Geo. V c.14). Treasury bills were issued until 1928 when the 1928 law on the currency and banknotes has made the ticketing powers to banks.

The Bank of England first issued notes for ten shillings and one pound on November 22, 1928. During World War II, the German Operation Bernhard attempted to counterfeit denominations between £ 5 and £ 50, producing 500,000 banknotes each month in 1943.

The original plan was to parachute the money into the UK in an attempt to destabilize the British economy, but it was found more useful to use the tickets to pay German agents operating across Europe. Although most have fallen to the hands of the Allies at the end of the war, fakes often appeared for years afterward, which led to the withdrawal from circulation of the upper banknotes at £ 5. In 2006, more than £ 53million of banknotes belonging to the Bank was stolen from a depository in Tonbridge, Kent.

Modern tickets are printed by contract with De La Rue Currency in Loughton, Essex. Golden vault The bank is the custodian of the official gold reserves of the United Kingdom and some 30 other countries. As of April 2016, the bank held approximately 400,000 bullion, which equates to 5,134 tonnes (5,659 tonnes) of gold. These gold deposits were estimated in August 2018 at a current market value of around £ 200 billion. These estimates suggest that the vault could contain up to 3% of the gold mined throughout human history. Governance of the Bank of England Governors.


Samuel Gladstone 1899–1901
Augustus Prevost 1901-1903
Samuel Morley 1903-1905
Alexander Wallace 1905-1907
William Campbell 1907-1909
Reginald Eden Johnston 1909–1911
Alfred Cole 1911–1913
Walter Cunliffe 1913–1918
Brien Cokayne 1918–1920
Montagu Norman 1920–1944
Thomas Catto 1944-1949
Cameron Cobbold 1949-1961
Rowland Baring (3rd Earl of Cromer) 1961-1966
Leslie O’Brien 1966-1973
Gordon Richardson 1973-1983
Robert Leigh-Pemberton 1983–1993
Edward George 1993–2003
Mervyn King 2003–2013
Mark Carney 2013-2020
Andrew Bailey 2020-present

The Administrative Court is a unitary board responsible for defining the organization’s strategy and budget and for making key decisions on resources and appointments. It consists of five executive members of the Bank and a maximum of 9 non-executive members, all appointed by the Crown.

The Chancellor chooses the President of the Court from among the non-executive members. The Court is needed to meet 7 times each year. The governor sits for eight years, deputy governors for five years, and non-executive members for up to four years.


Meet Ogbeide Frank, popularly known as perere, a blogger who loves writing about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies

For Advertisement, Content marketing andsponsored post: contact : kokobest04@gmail.com

About admin

Ogbeide Frank loves writing and research about finance and Tech. He studied Business administration at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma and Mobile Communication at Orange College Malaysia .Frank have worked as a banker and consultant in variety of Nigeria agencies For Advertisement, Content marketing and sponsored post: contact : kokobest04@gmail.com
View all posts by admin →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *