The digital pound: A new form of money for households and businesses?

Consultation Paper
Published on 07 February 2023

Overview

A Bank of England and HM Treasury publication

The way we use money is changing. This Consultation Paper sets out our assessment of the case for a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) – a so-called ‘digital pound’. It has been overseen by the joint Bank-HM Treasury CBDC Taskforce that was announced in April 2021.

At this stage, we judge it likely that the digital pound will be needed in the future. It is too early to decide whether to introduce the digital pound, but we are convinced preparatory work is justified.

The digital pound would be a new form of sterling, similar to a digital banknote, issued by the Bank of England. It would be used by households and businesses for their everyday payments needs. It would be used in-store, online and to make payments to family and friends. If introduced, it would exist alongside, and be easily exchangeable with, cash and bank deposits.

The digital pound would maintain public access to retail central bank money and, as our lifestyles and the economy become ever more digital, it would also promote innovation, choice and efficiency in domestic payments.

During this consultation, HM Treasury and the Bank of England engaged extensively with stakeholders across the UK to seek views on the proposed model of the digital pound set out. Responses to this consultation were invited from all interested members of the public, experts, and organisations.

The digital pound: A new form of money for households and businesses?

Alongside the Consultation Paper, the Bank of England published a Technology Working Paper outlining emerging thinking on CBDC technology.

On 20 March, UK Finance and Innovate Finance hosted the Bank of England at a webinar to discuss the Consultation Paper. In this webinar, the Bank outlined the key messages of the paper, followed by a Q&A session.

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Digital pound Consultation Paper

Next steps

The Consultation ran from 7 February 2023 to 30 June 2023. We are grateful to all individuals, businesses and organisations who responded.

The responses to this consultation will inform our joint future work, and the Bank and HM Treasury will publish a response to this consultation in due course.

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