Bank of England £100,000,000 note

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One Hundred Million pounds
(United Kingdom)
Value£100,000,000
Width297 mm
Height210 mm
Security featuresRequires the signature of the existing Chief Cashier at the Bank of England
Obverse
DesignBritannia
Reverse
DesignBlank

The Bank of England £100,000,000 note, also referred to as Titan, is a non-circulating Bank of England banknote of the pound sterling used to back the value of Scottish and Northern Irish pound notes. It is the highest denomination of banknote printed by the Bank of England.

It ensures that, for example, if a commercial bank in Scotland or Northern Ireland closes and no one can redeem the value stated on the notes it has issued, holders of such notes know the value of the note is kept as they can exchange them for Bank of England notes; the value of the quantity of the Bank of England notes needed for this hypothetical exchange is pre-donated by commercial Scottish and Northern Irish banks whenever they issue their own notes. The cash donated is then stored in bulk in the form of physical backing assets like Bank of England £100,000,000 notes, which subsequently guarantees the value printed on the Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes to everyday people.

Function of the £100,000,000 note[edit]

The £100,000,000 note (nicknamed "Titan" simply because of its titanic value) backs the value of common circulating notes (£1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100 notes) issued by the seven commercial banks in Scotland (Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank) and Northern Ireland (Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank, First Trust Bank, and Ulster Bank); the £1,000,000 note plays a similar vital role in the British currency system.[1][2][Note 1] Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes are often viewed with suspicion by businesses in England and Wales as, even though they are legal tender and are also backed by the Bank of England with physical assets (like the £100,000,000 note as well as the £1,000,000 note),[1] businesses are not always overly familiar with all the different types of notes that are issued and may not be sure on how to check them for counterfeiting and, therefore, don’t like to accept them. There is also the possibility of one of the commercial banks closing; all banknotes issued by a closed commercial bank would be considered worthless;[3] the backing by the £100,000,000 notes and the £1,000,000 notes is intended to maintain public confidence in the value the notes represent. For every pound an authorised Scottish or Northern Irish commercial bank prints and issues in the form of its own notes, it must deposit the equivalent in pound sterling with the Bank of England. If necessary, notes from a struggling Scottish or Northern Irish commercial bank could be replaced with regular Bank of England issued cash.[1][Note 2]

The obverse of a Royal Bank of Scotland £100 note. Its value is backed by assets like the Bank of England £100,000,000 note.[Note 2]

The seven Scottish and Northern Irish banks must by law set aside assets worth at least the value of all banknotes in circulation; this funds the creation of £100,000,000 and £1,000,000 notes; this ensures that people with genuine banknotes issued by the seven commercial banks receive a level of value protection for their banknotes; similar to people who have genuine Bank of England banknotes. The assets can be a combination of Bank of England banknotes, UK coins and funds held in an account at the Bank of England; this means that, if one of the seven Scottish or Northern Irish commercial banks failed, the backing assets could be used to reimburse everyone who has one of its banknotes.[4] The Bank of England prints £100,000,000 notes internally, rather than with its normal commercial printers dotted around the UK, for security reasons; the £100,000,000 notes are then locked away together with other backing assets either within the Bank of England vault, or in another authorised locations, to further ensure their security as physical assets.[1][5] For even further security, £100,000,000 notes must be signed by the existing Chief Cashier in order to become legal tender and actually be used as a backing asset for commercial banks and their notes in Scotland and Northern Ireland.[6][5]

The Bank Charter Act 1844 meant that only the Bank of England could issue notes - excluding Scottish banks.[Note 1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The tradition of printing banknotes was considered the norm centuries ago as most of the UK’s banks (commercial banks excluding the Bank of England) produced their own banknotes. However over time they weren’t all doing it responsibly and were not all able to back the notes up with actual physical assets; the law changed with the Bank Charter Act 1844 in the United Kingdom so all production of banknotes was moved to The Bank of England, except for Scotland, which argued for an exception as they were not having the same issues. The Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928 allowed banks in Northern Ireland to produce their own notes too.
  2. ^ a b "If there was an unfortunate situation when one of the banks failed, note holders would have the confidence that their notes were still valued as it said on them," says Victoria Cleland, the Executive Director for Banking, Payments, and Innovation, and the Chief Cashier at the Bank of England.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bowlby, Chris (26 January 2013). "Britain's £1m and £100m banknotes". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  2. ^ "What does a hundred million pound note look like?". UK Fundraising. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  3. ^ Britton, Yasmin (15 February 2019). "Northern Ireland's First Trust Bank to stop issuing their own banknotes". Change Checker. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Scottish and Northern Ireland banknotes". Bank of England. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier signing £100 million Titan note". Flickr. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  6. ^ "'Titan' note, held in the BoE vaults, worth £100 million". Flickr. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.

External links[edit]