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The Bank of England's profits across 300 years: Wars, financial crises and distribution

Anson, M. & Capie, F. (2022). The Bank of England's profits across 300 years: Wars, financial crises and distribution. Financial History Review, 29(1), pp. 98-119. doi: 10.1017/S0968565022000038


We have produced a series on the Bank of England's profits from its foundation in 1694 to the present time. This has not been available before. We explain the path of these profits over more than 300 years and account for their changing pattern. We next examine from where the profits derived, first in 'normal times', and then seeking, in particular, the impact of wars and financial crises. Other questions are: how much derived from seignorage; to what extent were profits passively acquired? Finally, we examine what the distribution regime was, and if, and how, that changed. This becomes more interesting in the period after nationalisation with some surprising results.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of theCreativeCommons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: central banking, profits, financial crises, accounting history
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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