Skip to main content

Bank Notes

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of £5 notes in circulation; whether he has taken steps to encourage the banking industry to make £5 notes available through cash machines; and if he will make a statement. (207492)

Bank of England data show that at the end of February 2008 there was approximately £1,250 million of £5 notes in circulation.

In his speech at the Mansion House in June 2007, the Governor of the Bank of England highlighted that he was concerned about the availability of £5 notes to the public. He also stated that there was an ample supply of £5 notes available from the Bank of England and suggested that banks might need greater incentives to put the available £5 notes into circulation.

Since the Governor’s speech, the annual growth rate of £5 notes in circulation has risen from around 5 per cent. to around 10 per cent. I understand that the Bank of England is currently holding discussions with commercial institutions about this matter.