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Home > Statistics > Explanatory Notes - Wholesale

Explanatory Notes - Wholesale

Eligible bank bills


A bank bill is a bill of exchange accepted by a bank. It represents an order in writing, addressed by one person to another and signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay, on demand or at a fixed date, a specified sum of money. The bill is made out by the signatory always with the consent of the person to whom it is addressed, who signs or accepts it, and mainly in relation to the sale of goods or produce. Eligible (bank) bills were commercial bills which met a number of criteria, relating to the purpose for which the bill is drawn, the clausing and maturity of the bill and the eligibility of the accepting bank. 


Prior to 1984, the series refers to prime bank bills. Since 1985, the rates shown are described as the mean of the bid and offer rates in the secondary market at about 8.30 am , derived from three sources. From 1975 to 1985 the rates shown are the mean of the bid and offer of close of business rates. For earlier years, the data are the mean of the range of buying rates over the day; before 6 August 1971 it is the minimum buying rate agreed by members of the discount market. The figures shown for 1970 to 1974 inclusive are the average of Fridays in each period. Thereafter, they are based on daily observations.