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.