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The Bank of England

The Bank of England, the second-oldest national bank in the world, was founded in 1694. It started out as a place for the government to secure loans. It gradually expanded and became the “banker's bank” by providing credit to the nation's banking system. It was taken over by the government and “nationalized” in 1946. Since then, the bank has slowly regained its independence. It became operationally free of the government in 1997, especially to set interest rates. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Board is comparable to the Fed's Open Market Committee. Today, the Bank of England also manages the UK's foreign exchange and gold reserves and the government's stock register.


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