HM Treasury News Release
26 January 2000
FIRST PUBLICATION OF UK GOVERNMENT RESERVES ANNUAL ACCOUNTS
Another step in promoting open and transparent policy making is achieved
with the first publication of the annual accounts for the Exchange
Equalisation Account (EEA), which holds the UK's official reserves
of gold, foreign currencies and International Monetary Fund Special
Drawing Rights, Economic Secretary Melanie Johnson said today.
Welcoming publication, Miss Johnson said :
"Publication of the Exchange Equalisation Account, audited by the
National Audit Office, is a further major step forward in achieving
openness and transparency in the management of public finances.
"Previously, Governments drew a veil of secrecy over official reserves
transactions, leaving markets with incomplete and sometimes misleading
information about their actions and intentions. Without the discipline
of having to explain and account for the stewardship of the reserves
mistakes were made.
"The UK broke decisively with that approach in 1997, when we began
publication of full information on outstanding forward positions.
Since then the full picture on the level of the reserves has been
available in monthly bulletins.
"Publication of the EEA annual accounts takes the process of opening
up the books even further. The annual accounts describe the framework
within which the reserves are managed by the Bank of England on behalf
of the Treasury; the market and credit risk limits within which the
Bank can act; the Bank's use of those limits; and the profitability
of the Bank's investment of the reserves.
"This welcome step is a further demonstration of this Government's
commitment to openness in the management of over $30 billion of public
funds held in the reserves."
NOTES TO EDITORS
The NAO's report and audit certificate are published with the
Copies of the accounts and the NAO's report and certificates are available
from HM Treasury, Debt and Reserves Management Team, Room 108/2, Parliament
Street, London SW1P. Requests can be faxed to 0171 451 7516.
Media enquiries should be addressed to Charles Keseru in the Treasury
press office on 0171 270 5188.
If you have access to the Internet, you can find this news release
and other Treasury information at