More than 97% of the money used by people and businesses in the UK is created by commer- cial, or ‘high-street’, banks. Less than 3% is created by the state or central banks (such as the Bank of England). A similar situation exists in most countries around the world.
Banks create new money, in the form of the numbers (deposits) that appear in bank accounts, through the accounting process used when they make loans. In the words of the Bank of England:
“When a bank makes a loan, for example to someone taking out a mortgage to buy a house, it does not typically do so by giving them thousands of pounds worth of banknotes. Instead, it credits their bank account with a bank deposit of the size of the mortgage. At that moment, new money is created.” (Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, 2014 Q1)
Conversely, when people use those deposits to repay loans, the process is reversed and money effectively disappears from the economy. As the Bank of England describes:
“Just as taking out a loan creates new money, the repayment of bank loans destroys money. … Banks making loans and consumers repaying them are the most significant ways in which bank deposits are created and destroyed in the modern economy.” (Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, 2014 Q1)