No, I am not talking about two sports teams here. The “giants” and “titans” I’m referring to are a small number of 1M and 100M British banknotes locked away in the Bank of England’s vaults.
According to an article published by the BBC these large banknotes are not in circulation, yet play an important role in the British currency system. The giants and titans serve as backing the value of notes issued on a day to day basis by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The article states that:
“This backing aims to maintain everyone’s confidence in the value the notes represent. For every pound an authorised Scottish or Northern Irish bank wants to print in the form of its own notes, it has to deposit the equivalent amount in sterling with the Bank of England.
If necessary, notes from, for example, a struggling Scottish bank could be replaced with regular Bank of England cash.
“If there was an unfortunate situation when one of the banks failed, note holders would have the confidence that their notes were still valued as it said on them,” says Victoria Cleland, head of notes at the Bank of England.
So Scottish and Northern Irish banks supply their backing, which pays for the creation of giants and titans. The Bank of England prints them internally, rather than with its normal commercial printers. They are then locked away very carefully.”
Rather interesting, isn’t it? If you’d like to read the full BBC article click here.