skip to content skip to search skip to navigation Listen Live skip to logon
Sunday 21st December 2014
Max 10°C | Min 10°C

What does "I promise to pay the bearer" mean on money?

pound-note.jpgQuestion

On the Bank of England notes, it says “I promise to pay the bearer of this note five pounds”. So is that not actually money? Could I get gold in return?
Geraldine, Harrow

Answer

** Definitive **
Name: Arnie, New Malden
Qualification: Used to study economics
Answer: It goes back to the days when most major currencies were tied to the gold standard and you used to be able to go to a bank and ask for gold in exchange of the notes. Nowadays, the currencies are no longer tied to it, so you couldn’t do it now.

Comments