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King’s midas touch: Bank of England announces profits near £1bn

The Bank of England said in May that it had made just shy of
£1bn from helping rescue failed banks and building societies. In the year to
late February 2009, pre-tax profit ballooned to £995m from a measly £197m the
previous year, purely from having fulfilled its core purposes ­ “ensuring
monetary and financial stability”.

It transferred £417m of that to its cash reserves, significantly up on
2007-08 when it put £80m away. Governor Mervyn King said that among the Bank’s
priorities in the coming year is returning inflation to 2% and strengthening
co-operation and communication between central banks. But he warned: “Banking
crises can never be prevented; they are as old as banks themselves. But we can
reduce the likelihood of them occurring and ensure that when they do, they are
orderly and contained.”

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