With the ongoing decline of physical cash, the UK is more and more reliant on a handful of big banks. This means that the economy is at risk from banks’ lending activities, and banks have to be propped up by taxpayer money.
We believe that it is time to take advantage of new technology to reshape money and payments in the public interest.
We therefore support proposals for the Bank of England to issue a digital version of cash, alongside physical notes and coins. This would take the form of a risk-free, publicly-issued electronic money.
The Bank of England already issues digital currency in the form of deposits held by commercial banks in accounts at the Bank of England. It can provide Digital Cash simply by making these accounts available to non-bank companies and individuals.
Doing so would make our payments system more resilient, reduce our reliance on a small number of unaccountable institutions, and help stimulate competition and innovation in payments services.
We call on the Treasury Select Committee to recognise the clear benefits of Digital Cash and the public support for it represented by this petition, and to recommend its introduction.