England is missing £50 billion in bank notes, according to audit
- Published: Oct 4, 2020, 9 AM
The next James Bond movie is not supposed to be released until November 2020, but there may well be an urgent need for him, or someone like him, now.
A report filed by England’s spending watchdog agency, the National Audit Office, says that Bank of England notes in the amount of about £50 billion, or $63.75 billion, is missing and no one can figure out where it went. That comes out to a little bit less than a thousand pounds for every adult in the country.
The news was covered by just about every English news organization, all giving the same basic story. There is very little dependable information on what went where, only speculation. Was it being held as part of the underground economy, stuffed in briefcases or mattresses, or sent overseas? The only things known for sure is that it is not being used for transactions or identified as household savings.
Another big mystery mentioned in the report is that, although the demand for bank notes has increased steadily over the past 20 years, cash use since 2010 has fallen by half.
Part of the problem may be that no single public entity is responsible for overseeing the cash system’s performance. Instead, there are five: The Treasury, the Bank of England, the Royal Mint, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Payments Systems Regulator.
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