Daily Account Books 1851-1983

The information recorded in the daily accounts was used to produce the weekly Bank Return.
These records contain daily figures relating to the assets and liabilities of the Issue Department which covered everything connected to the issue of bank notes, and the Banking Department which covered all other areas at the Bank. The separation of the two departments for accounting purposes was a consequence of the ‘Bank Charter Act’ of 1844. The two accounts were then brought together to form the Bank Return which was published weekly on the Bank’s notice board and in the press, making it accessible to the general public.

These volumes which are known as the Daily Accounts for ‘Books’ collated the accounts for the Issue and Banking Departments for a meeting known as ‘Books’ at the Bank of England. ‘Books’ was a morning meeting of the Governor, Deputy Governor and senior staff. It is initially thought to have taken place on a weekly basis, and was an opportunity for any member to report on events which had arisen since the previous meeting. By 1931 meetings were scheduled twice weekly with ten to twelve senior members, along with the Governor and Deputy Governor. However, by the early twenty-first century it was recognised that senior management could obtain the information discussed at ‘Books’ by other means and in 2003 it was to be replaced by a weekly meeting of the Executive Team. 

Although the Bank Charter Act was passed in 1844, the Archive only holds daily account books from 1851. 

Most of the earlier account books in this series contain the figures for a single year, whilst many of the later twentieth century books include several years in one volume. 

Archive Catalogue Reference: C1/1-116 (These files are searchable under ‘Daily Accounts for ‘Books’ ' in the Archive catalogue)
This page was last updated 31 January 2023