The Bank of England has a fairly dubious record of forecasting the UK economy, but 30 years ago it was right about one thing – how our use of cash would change.
A look through the Bank’s publications archive, uploaded to its website on Tuesday and going back to 1947, reveals all sorts of historical curios – not least its handling of Nazi gold in 1939.
Another is a 1982 report on why demand for cash was growing far more slowly than expected, which at the time was hard to reconcile with a widespread belief that the black economy was on the rise.
It came to the conclusion that new technology was perhaps the most important factor. But it also provided a look at what the future would hold:
“The term ‘cashless society’ is … and will for the foreseeable future continue to be, an implausible prospect for the United Kingdom (and indeed for most other countries).