Thursday, 27 October 2011

Ownership of the Bank of England

A guest post by Edward Spalton

The shares of the Bank of England are said to be held by a nominee company. In the present, justifiable outrage about the mismanagement of the financial sector, all sorts of theories are flying around – principally that the bank is really owned by the Rothschilds or whoever is the sinister pet hate figure of the theorist.

By complete coincidence, I have a copy of the Straits Times (Singapore) of Monday October 15th 1945 which carries this Reuters' report. I think it is pretty clear and that the ownership situation has not altered since. Gordon Brown, of course, gave the bank conditional “independence” to set interest rates, thus absolving himself and future Chancellors from the need to answer for interest policy at the despatch box in the Commons. But I don't think anything else has changed with regard to ownership. He also destroyed the bank's effective regulatory role which prevented any British or colonial clearing bank from failing in 180 years and replaced it with his complicated “tripartite” system with results which we all know.

Here is the report in full.


LONDON, Oct 13 – The British Government will buy up the Bank of England capital in its nationalisation scheme, writes Sydney Campbell, Reuter's City Editor.

The bill to take public control of the bank, published today, states that the existing stock will be transferred to a nominee of the British Treasury and the King will appoint a governor, deputy governor and directors.

The Treasury will direct the bank but the bank will be managed by its directors and will issue directives to other British banks. The present proprietors of the Bank of England will be bought out in exchange for 3 per cent long dated Government stock which will give the holder the same income he is receiving from the Bank of England's stock, namely 12 per cent.

The British Government will pay £450 long term Government stock for each £100 Bank of England stock. The amount of the capital stock of the Bank of England now is £14,583,000. This first act of socialisation by Britain's Labour Government fulfilled the best expectations in the City of London – Reuter.”

Recent information from a correspondent who made enquiries of the Treasury establishes that the present nominee is the Treasury Solicitor.


Surreptitious Evil said...

People seem to be confused between the ownership of the Bank itself - where there is one owner, HMG, represented by the Treasury Solicitor, and the "Bank of England Nominees Ltd", which was a wholly owned subsidiary (it is now dormant) of the Bank.

Yes, the latter did have a slightly interesting, even sinister, purpose - to give foreign state investors a vehicle to allow them to invest in or even buy UK companies while escaping some of the public disclosure obligations that would normally follow. The non-disclosure privilege has been lifted.

Edward Spalton said...

Surreptitious Evil - What a wonderful title and there's a lot of it about!

I guess that all national banks have some sort of trading arm which can conduct confidential business. It is only since the great betrayal by the political and official class became apparent that people would think such an arrangement sinister in itself.

There are myths going around about the bank's ownership and I was concerned by a nasty undercurrent of anti Semitism concerning "the banksters" amongst some people who really ought to know better.

These people could generally be classed as of the Right. The same tendency is much more overt and fierce on the Left where it is usually concealed as anti Zionism but the reality breaks through from time to time.

Some of the Great & the Good of the mainstream Dutch socialist world attended a "pro Palestinian" rally where the crowd set up a chant "Hamas! Hamas! The Jews to the gas!" and the Great and the Good did not leave.

We are living in rather Weimarish times.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

C'mon Edward - what exactly does your post tell us?

That a country bankrupted by war has nationalised it's central bank and the City approves?

That everything is all right now that God has saved the King and now the King has saved the bank.

1945 and a country fit for heroes that - had the city cons got in wouldn't have reached the level of damp squib that it eventually managed.

Edward Spalton said...

Dear Crinkly & Amp

You are reading a great deal more into it than I either wrote, implied or intended.

There are all sorts of wild and frankly poisonous things flying around the internet as people seek scapegoats for the state we are in. Amongst them is the oft-repeated allegation that the Bank of England is really owned by a Jewish cartel, led by the Rothschilds - and that explains everything!

One person with whom I have had intermittent contact over the years and reckoned to be well-intentioned, if not the sharpest knife in the box, actually sent me "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as an explanation of all our troubles.

So, when an objective, factual, contemporaneous account of the bank's ownership came my way (I was acting as executor for a clergyman and found the paper amongst his effects), I took the opportunity to refute the lie, believed by many.

That is all.

Best wishes, Edward

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Edward to the contrary -I was reading nothing into it other than the fact of how little it actually told us.

Reminiscent if you like of a more innocent but subsequently proven as a naive age.

Sometimes I yearn such naivete could be afforded us now.

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