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Bank of England told to find “missing” £50 billion in notes

More than £50 billion in notes is “missing” or “stashed away”, reports a Government committee.

The Public Accounts Committee said the Bank of England needs to “get a better handle on the national currency it controls”.

The committee said there are implications for everyone if no one knows what the money is being used for.

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The Bank estimates 20% to 24% of issued notes are used in cash transactions.

It believes the missing £50 billion is used in overseas deals, held in savings, or used in a shadow economy.

It said: “The Bank of England does not appear to have a convincing reason for why the demand for notes keeps increasing – or any real understanding of where around £50bn of issued sterling notes are.”

Other major currencies are also reporting vast sums “lost”

However, the committee acknowledged that it is a trend being seen with other major currencies.

Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“In many areas where you can use cash you’d be hard pressed to find it, at least without paying an ATM fee that may be a substantial percentage of a small withdrawal – yet making frequent, small withdrawals can be a key budgeting tool for those on low incomes, and least able to afford those fees.

“Conversely, £50bn of sterling notes – or about three-quarters of this precious and dwindling supply – is stashed somewhere but the Bank of England doesn’t know where, who by or what for – and doesn’t seem very curious.”

 

 

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