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The Bank of England

Focus on Central Banks

June 1, 1998

The Bank of England

Headquarters: London

National currency: pound

One of the world's older central banks, the Bank of England was established by an Act of Parliament in 1694. The Bank, known as the "Old Lady of Threadneedle Street," has stood at the financial center of the City of London since 1734. As the central bank of the United Kingdom, the Bank serves as the central bank for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Bank of England's main responsibilities are to:

  • advise the government on monetary policy and

  • print the country's bank notes.

In June 1998, legislation takes effect giving the Bank of England operational independence with respect to monetary policy. In addition, the bank's traditional duties as the government's agent for debt management, the sale of government bills and bonds (gilts), oversight of the gilts market and cash management are transferred to the Treasury.

Moreover, the Bank of England's responsibility for supervising banks transfers to the Financial Services Authority.

The bank is managed by the Court of Directors appointed by the Crown and consisting of the governor, two deputies and 16 nonexecutive members drawn widely from industry, commerce and finance.

See more about the Bank of England.