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Bank on tatty pounds 20 for the Millennium.

Tatty pounds 20 pound notes will play a part in Britain's Millennium celebrations, the Bank of England said yesterday.

The Bank has stopped destroying old notes to help ensure a ready supply of cash for the extended holiday.

The Bank is also increasing production of pounds 10 and pounds 20 notes to boost its stockpile, said a spokeswoman for the Bank of England.

She would not give figures for either the number of pounds 20 notes being saved from the shredder nor the increased production, saying sufficient banknotes would be available.

"Banknotes will be in the right place at the right time," she said.

The British Bankers' Association was also reluctant to mention specific amounts but was confident the Bank of England would make sure "a lot of elasticity" was built into the supply of banknotes.

It saw Christmas Eve as the peak day for cash withdrawals.

Christmas Day, a Saturday, is the first of the ten days in which only two will be normal working days in Britain.

The first full day back at work will be Tuesday, January 4.

"We have long been factoring in that it will be the longest holiday period for many years and that we can expect unusual behaviour from some people," said Association spokesman Mr Roger Miles.

The seasonal rise in demand for cash will be exacerbated by people making withdrawals to offset fears the so-called Millennium bug might erase their bank records.

Figures released by the Bank of England earlier this week showed pounds 29.4 billion worth of notes and coins were in circulation in the week to August 11.

The United States which has well over pounds 312 billion in circulation and plans to increase that by pounds 125 billion for the Millennium.

The British Bankers Association said US authorities had recently been saying "nice things" about British preparations for the Millennium.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 20, 1999
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