Gbp-british pound

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Gbp-british poundWhy are you interested in the GBP?

British Pound History

The United Kingdom's central bank is the Bank of England. As the fourth most traded currency, the British Pound is the third most held reserve currency in the world. Common names for the British Pound include the Pound Sterling, Sterling, Quid, Cable, and Nicker.

Importance of the British Pound

The British Pound is the oldest currency still in use today, as well as one of the most commonly converted currencies. It is also the highest valued among the major currencies. The Falkland Islands. Gibraltar. and Saint Helena are all pegged at par to the GBP.

Early Currency in Britain

With its origins dating back to the year 760, the Pound Sterling was first introduced as the silver penny, which spread across the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In 1158, the design was changed and rather than pure silver the new coins were struck from 92.5% silver and became to be known as the Sterling Pound. Silver pennies were the sole coinage used in England until the shilling was introduced in 1487 and the pound, two years later, in 1489.

British Pound Notes and the Gold Standard

The first paper notes were introduced in 1694, with their legal basis being switched from silver to gold. The Bank of England, one of the first central banks in the world, was established a year later, in 1695. All Sterling notes were handwritten until 1855, when the bank began to print whole notes. In the early 20th century, more countries began to tie their currencies to gold. A gold standard was created, which allowed conversion between different countries' currencies and revolutionized trading and the international economy. Great Britain officially adopted the gold standard in 1816, though it had been using the system since 1670. The strength of the Sterling that came with the gold standard led to a period of major economic growth in Britain until 1914.

The British Pound and the Sterling Area

1976: A sterling crisis arose and the UK turned to the International Monetary Fund for a loan

1988: The GBP started to shadow the Deutsche Mark

1990: The UK joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, though withdrew from it two years later

1997: The control of interest rates became the responsibility of the Bank of England