The Bank of England is the central bank in the UK and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Estblished in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in operation today, after the Sveriges Riksbank. The Bank of England was established to act as the English Government’s banker and is still one of the bankers for the Government in the UK. The Bank was privately owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946.
In 1998 it became an independent public organisation, wholly owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the Government, with independence in setting monetary policy. The Bank is one of eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, but it has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Bank’s headquarters have been in London’s main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734.