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The Bank of England Functions

The Bank of England fulfils a number of functions, some of which are fundamental to its role as a central bank, while others have evolved over time and other functions have been assigned to the Bank as the result of its special position in the financial system.

The Bank's main functions nowadays are:

Banker to the Government: all government revenue is, in principle, paid into an account at the Bank and out of this account the government's expenditure is met. This is known as the Exchequer Account. It receives both the proceeds of taxation and of government borrowing. The money in the Exchequer Account is known as the Consolidation Fund: it is out of this fund that the government's expenses are paid.

• Banker to banking system:the Bank maintains current account for various banking institutions. These are operational accounts and they are particular important in the case of the clearing banks, since it isthrough thesebalances that clearing differences are settled and cash iswithdrawn from the Bank.

• Banker to the customers:the Bank also acts as banker to some overseas central banks, to international organizations and to a small number of domestic institutions and private individual including staff.

• Note issuing authority:apart from a small issue by Scottish and Northern Ireland commercial banks, the Bank of England is the sole note-Issuer in the United Kingdom.

• Manager of the National Debt:as banker to the government, the Bank takes responsibility for government borrowing. It handles the issue of government stocks and, in particular, it deals with the weekly tender of Treasury Bills. It acts as registar for government stocks, handling interest payments and redemptions on maturity and also operates the Central Office Gilts Office, which facilitates the settlement of dealings in the gilt-edged market carried out by the main participants.

• Manager of the Exchange Equalisation Account:though this is a Treasury account it is operated by the Bank which intervenes in the foreign exchange market in order to influence the value of sterling against other currencies.

• Supervisor of the banking system:although for many years the Bank Exercised an informal system of supervision over the banking system, the 1974 secondary banking crisis revealed the lack of an adequate supervisory framework for banking in the United Kingdom, an inadequacy which was made good by The Banking Act 1979. This act laid statutory obligation upon the Bank of England to supervise the banking system. The Bank'sduties and powers in this matter now derive from The Banking Act 1987 (P. Bond. The Monetary and Financial System. — Ln.: Nothwich Pub., 1990).


Vocabulary list:

common features — общие черты;

consistent — последовательный;

Court of Directors — Совет Директоров;

Treasury — казначейство;

Treasury Bill — казначейский вексель;

The Exchange Account — Казначейский счет;

National Debt — Государственный долг;

Bank Act — Закон о Банке;

redemption — выплата;

maturity — погашение (истечение срока) ценной бумаги;

gilt-edged securities = gilts — золотообрезные ценные бумаги;

Exchange Equalisation Account — Валютный уравнительный

счет (фонд), счет стабилизации валюты;

supervision — контроль, надзор.

Text 9. Definition and Characteristics of Banks

A bank is a financial intermediary that holds assets and issues liabilities, but issues at least two classes of liability — typically, forms of debt and equity — with differing claims to its assets in the event it defaults. A bank is like a mutual fund in so far as it is a financial intermediary that invests on its own account. And issues claims against itself to the "ultimate" investors who provide the funds it invests. However a bank is unlike a mutual fund and like most other large firms in capitalist economies and in so far it has a capital structure consisting of two or more distinct classes of liability. Indeed, one can think of a bank simply as a debt-and-equity-issuing company that is engaged in business of financial intermediation, in a manner analogous to the way in which, say, a typical steel-producing company is a debt-and-equity company engaged in the business of making steel.

Banks are (and always have been) the dominant form of financial intermediary.

Banks are particularly dominant in the provision of short-term finance, and in all major countries bank loans are still much greater than the next largest source of short-term commercial and industrial finance.

The institutions we recognize as banks have five notable empirical characteristics. The first is that they have a high ratio of financial to"real assets", relative to firms whose principle business is non-financial. Virtually all firms hold both financial and "real" assets, but a non-financial firm typically holds most "real" assets, (e. g. factories) while a bank mainly holds financial ones such as bonds, loans or equity. A bank's real assets mainly consistent of its own offices and equipment, and these are only a fraction of its total assets. The first characteristic therefore merely reflects the fact that a bank's main line ofbusiness is financial intermediation. The second empirical characteristic is that bank liabilities tend to be more liquid than the liabilities ofmost other firms. The third characteristic, related to the second, is that many banks liabilities are trans-actable, i. e. are used as media ofexchange. Obvious examples are bank notes and cheques drawn against chequable deposits. The forth characteristic is that banks' assets usually have much longer terms than their liabilities, and are therefore generally less liquid. Banks thus "transform" relatively illiquid longer-term assets into relatively liquid short-term liabilities. Finally, banks are more highly levered than other firms. The banks' lower capital assets ratios might reflect a perception that the banking industry is safer than most other industries, and therefore has lower capital adequacy requirements; however, it also appears, especially in the USA to reflect regulatory policies that have encouraged banks to run down their capital and rely for their safety on deposit insurance guarantees or expectations of central bank bailouts, but we shall have more to say on these Issues in due course (R. Dowd. Competition and Finance. N. Y.: St. Martin's Press, 1996).


Vocabulary list:

intermediary — посредник, агент, брокер (лицо, уполномоченное на совершение операций за счет клиента);

intermediation — посредничество; размещение денежных средств у финансовых посредников;

assets — актив;

liabilities — пассивы;

equity — 1) капитал компании, разница между активами и текущими обязательствами, заемным капиталом и привилегированными акциями;

equities = ordinary shares;

mutual fund — взаимный фонд;

short-term — краткосрочный;

long-term — долгосрочный;

liquidity — ликвидность.


Text 10. Business letters

А.Dear Sirs


We thank you for your enquiry of 12 October, and appreciate your interest in our


Full details of our export prices and terms of payment are enclosed, and we have arranged for a copy of our catalogue to be sent to you today.


Our representative for Europe, Mr J.Heedham, will be in Paris from the 24th to the 30th of this month, and we have asked him to make an appointment to visit you during this period. He will have with him a full range of samples or our hand-made product line , and is authorized to discuss the terms of an order with you or to . to negotiate a contract .


We think our articles will be Just what you want for the fashionable trade, and look forward to the opportunity of doing business with you.


Yours faithfully



B.Dear Sirs


We thank you for your letter of 25 June, and are glad to inform you that all items listed in your enquiry are in stock . We are enclosing a proforma-invoice for the aluminium fittings you are interested in: if you wish to place a firm order , will you please arrange for settlement of the invoice by draft through your bank, and advise us at the same time.


We can guarantee delivery in Melbourne within 3 weeks of receiving your instructions.

If you require the items urgently , we will arrange for them to be sent by air, but this will, of course, entail higher freight charges.


We are enclosing details of our terms of payment, and would be happy to discuss discounts with you if you would kindly let us know how large your orders are likely to be.


We are also enclosing a copy of the report, which appeared in the March issue of The Metal Worker, on our ALUMOY fittings.


We are looking forward, to hearing from you, and assure you that your orders will . receive our immediate attention.


Yours faithfully


C. Dear Mr Scott


Many thanks for your letter of 5 May. We are interested to hear that you saw our advertisement in the Camera Review, and appreciate your interest in the DERVIEW products we stock .


We are enclosing our Terms of Business, where you will, find details of our quarterlv discounts , and our price list for the complete range of products. As you will see, we can grant special terms for orders of the value you mention.


I will be in Durban myself on 17 May, and will be happy to call on you at any time in the afternoon. Perhaps you would like Let me know whether this is convenient .I will, of course, bring the complete range of DERVIEW colour transparances, which are described in the catalogue we have sent you today.

I am looking forward to meeting you.


Yours faithfully


D. Dear Sirs


We are very glad to have your letter of 1 December and to hear that you have been receiving enquiries about our Weatherproof coats.



The Litewate range you mention has been a great success wherever it has been introduced, and we are already exporting it to several tropical countries, in both Asia and Africa. Unlike many waterproof coats, the Litewate does not cause excessive condensation on the inside surface, and so would be suitable for your climate.

We can quote you the following prices:

£ p

250 Litewate coats, women’s, medium 375 00

250 ,, ,, ,, small 375 00

250 ,, ,, men’s, medium 493 75

250 ,, ,, ,, small 431 25


F.O.B. Liverpool 1,675 00

Freight Liverpool-Caltutta 50 20

Iinsurance18 30

1, 743 50

We will be able to ship the raincoats within 2-3 weeks of receiving your order .

We are grateful to you for your suggestion concerning an ultra-lightweight coat for the Indian market, and are pleased to inform you that we have been looking into the question of а suitable material for some time now. Our research department assure us that they will have a model ready in the very near future, and we will come back to the matter as soon as we have some definite news for you.


We are enclosing full details of our terms of business, and have sent you by separate post a set of descriptive brochures of our products, and a supply of sales literature.


We look forward to hearing from you again.

Yours faithfully

E. Dear Sirs


We thank you for your inquiry of 31 January, and can confirm our telephone conversation of yesterday, in which we informed you that we can deliver part of the goods required from stock, in accordance with enclosed detailed offer. For the balance we would require approximately three weeks from the date of receiving your confirmation that this arrangement is acceptable.


Prices as quoted are f.o.b. London.

Packing in wooden cases.

Delivery as specified above.

Payment against documents, by banker’s draft.


We hope your client will find our terms and delivery dates satisfactory, and we can assure you that you may count on our full co-operation and attention in this matter.


Yours faithfully.


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