Further details about notes and coin and reserves balances data

Notes and coin is the narrowest measure of money published. Reserves balances are interest-bearing balances held by banks and building societies at the Bank of England.

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Weekly data are collected every Wednesday. Monthly data are computed as the average of the four or five weekly figures for the month.

Weekly data are available from 1990 for notes and coin and from May 2006 for reserves balances. Monthly data are available from 1969 for notes and coin and from May 2006 for reserves balances. Notes and coin and reserves balances data are available in Notes and coin and reserves balances (Table A1.1.1). The monthly notes and coin data is available not seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted, and there is also an additional series which is adjusted for special non-seasonal factors, such as the £1 note write-off in 1998, the funding of the winter fuel payments, the turn of the millennium, the fuel dispute of 2000, and the threatened strike action affecting note distributors in 2003. Reserves balance data are not seasonally adjusted.

The average outturns for the month are published in the Narrow Money (notes and coin) and Reserves Balances statistical release five working days after the last Wednesday of the month.


The level of notes in circulation and information about reserves balances are taken from the Bank of England's balance sheet up to September 2014 and from the Bank of England Weekly Report October 2014 onwards. Coin data are provided by the Royal Mint. Information about the net issues of the Scottish and Northern Irish note-issuing banks (adjusted for set-aside Bank of England notes) is provided by the relevant banks. 

All data are subject to revision if and when new information becomes available. For more information on revisions practices see further details about revisions.


Notes and coin is made up of sterling notes and coin in circulation outside the Bank of England (including those held in banks' and building societies' tills). Notes and coin, as presented in the monthly statistical release, differs from the series within M4 and other balance sheet statistics because it is compiled as an average of weekly observations (as opposed to an end-month position) and because it includes all holdings of notes and coin, not only those held by the non-bank, non-building society private sector.

Since 2006, authorised banks and building societies have been entitled to place cash deposits (reserves balances) at the Bank of England, earning interest at Bank Rate. These deposits are voluntary. On 5 October 2009, we widened our eligibility criteria to allow all institutions reporting their eligible liabilities to us to apply for access to reserves accounts, to help smaller institutions to manage their liquidity. Previously, only institutions that were subject to the statutory Capital Requirements Directive regime were eligible to apply for a reserves account.

Following a review, the Bank of England implemented a new method for seasonally adjusting notes and coin data, with effect from the publication of July 2019 data. The new approach introduces separate seasonal adjustments for the period up to December 2008 and for the period thereafter. This addresses changes in the pattern of trading days and holiday effects. In particular, it accounts for changes to the date of collection in relation to Bank Holidays. Weekly notes and coins are ordinarily collected for each Wednesday and averaged to form the monthly series. For Wednesday Bank Holidays prior to 2009, the reference date used was the preceding working day. After this date the reference date used was the Wednesday Bank Holiday itself. The new method reduced the volatility in the series that was previously evident in certain periods.

Breaks and valuations

Following Bank of England Money Market Reform on 18 May 2006, Notes and coin and reserves balances (Table A1.1.1) replaced M0 (Table A1.1). Many of the series in Table A1.1 are continued in Table A1.1.1, though for M0 and bankers' operational deposits data the final observations are for April 2006, and the first observation for reserves balances data is for May 2006. More information on changes made to our monetary policy operations and their impact on published data is available in the Statistics article 'The implications of money market reform for data published in Monetary and Financial Statistics'.

Further information

Broad and narrow money statistical releases: summary of user consultation and future availability, Bank of England (2007), Statistics article, August 2007.

Publication of narrow money data: the implications of money market reform
Janssen, N and Andrews, P (2005), Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Autumn 2005.

This page was last updated 31 January 2023