British Banking Strategy and the International Challenge by Derek F. Channon

By Derek F. Channon

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As a result of the widespread introduction of floating exchange rates, the dollar - sterling rate is no longer used as the main indicator of the relative position of sterling. Emphasis in the management of the foreign exchange market has instead switched to the effective change in the sterling exchange rate, which is now determined as the weighted average of Structure and Strategy of the Bank of England 27 movements of sterling against the currencies of the UK's main trading partners. Further, intervention has generally been restricted to smoothing out such fluctuations.

Commercial banks affected in a similar manner tend to restore their position by withdrawing funds deposited at call with the discount houses. Although MLR is normally fixed by automatic formula, it nevertheless remains possible for the Bank to make a change in the rate in order to indicate a shift in monetary policies. 25 to 13 per cent. Under these conditions, the formula method of calculating MLR is suspended until such time as market rates have adjusted to the lead provided by the Bank. The Bank also operates as the agent of government for the provision of long-term finance.

This in turn interacts to influence the national rate of growth in the money supply. The Bank may thus operate to control the availability of stock in the market place, since undue volatility in the prices of government stocks can damage their acceptability. In 1973 the amount of stock transferred through the gilt-edged market was some £35,000 million, of which more than £6000 million was owing to official transactions, largely by the Issue Office. 3 The final major market in which the Bank plays a leading role is the foreign exchange market.

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