The Bank of England
is the Central Bank of the United Kingdom, the banker to the government and responsible for managing the monetary policy of the country through the Monetary Policy Committee. It is one of eight banks in the United Kingdom authorised to issue bank notes and the current governor is Mervyn King
. Founded in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world and therefore a model for most other modern central banks. The original purpose was to provide money to the king to rebuild the navy after Britain’s defeat by France at the Battle of Beachy Head
– the only way for Britain to become a strong world power again was through redeveloping its navy for military and trade purposes. Originally in Walbrook, central London, it has had its headquarters on Threadneedle Street since 1734, and sometimes referred to as ‘The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’. A museum
at the bank contains collections from throughout the ages and provides information about the history and current working of the bank.