|Security features||Requires the signature of the existing Chief Cashier at the Bank of England|
The Bank of England £100,000,000 note, also referred to as Titan, is a non-circulating Bank of England sterling banknote used to back the value of Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes. It is the highest denomination of banknote printed by the Bank of England. As both Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own currency issued by particular local banks, the non-circulating notes provide the essential link between those currencies and that of England, and security if a local issuing bank were to fail.
The £100,000,000 note (nicknamed "Titan" simply because of its titanic value) backs the value of common circulating notes (£1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100 notes) issued by the six commercial banks in Scotland (Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank) and Northern Ireland (Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank and Ulster Bank). The million pound note plays a similar vital role in the British currency system.[note 1] Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes are often viewed with suspicion by businesses in England and Wales as businesses are not always overly familiar with all the different types of notes that are issued and may not be sure on how to check them for counterfeiting and, therefore, do not like to accept them. There is also the possibility of one of the commercial banks closing; all banknotes issued by a closed commercial bank would be considered worthless. The backing by the £100,000,000 notes and the £1,000,000 notes is intended to maintain public confidence in the value the notes represent. For every pound an authorised Scottish or Northern Irish commercial bank prints and issues in the form of its own notes, it must deposit the equivalent in pound sterling with the Bank of England. If necessary, notes from a struggling Scottish or Northern Irish commercial bank could be replaced with regular Bank of England issued cash.[note 2]
The Bank of England prints £100,000,000 notes internally, rather than at its normal commercial printers, for security reasons. The £100,000,000 notes are then locked away together with other backing assets either within the Bank of England vault, or in other authorised locations, to further ensure their security as physical assets. For even further security, £100,000,000 notes must be signed by the existing Chief Cashier in order to become legal tender and actually be used as a backing asset for commercial banks and their notes in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- The tradition of printing banknotes was considered the norm centuries ago as most of the UK’s banks (commercial banks excluding the Bank of England) produced their own banknotes. However over time they weren’t all doing it responsibly and were not all able to back the notes up with actual physical assets. The law changed with the Bank Charter Act 1844 in the United Kingdom so all production of banknotes was moved to The Bank of England, except for Scotland, which argued for an exception as they were not having the same issues. The Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928 allowed banks in Northern Ireland to produce their own notes too.
- "If there was an unfortunate situation when one of the banks failed, note holders would have the confidence that their notes were still valued as it said on them," says Victoria Cleland, the Executive Director for Banking, Payments, and Innovation, and the Chief Cashier at the Bank of England.
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- "'Titan' note, held in the BoE vaults, worth £100 million". Flickr. 15 February 2019. Archived from the original on 29 September 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2019.