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Treasury bill (T-bill).
Treasury bills are the shortest-term government debt securities.
They are issued with a maturity date of 4, 13, or 26 weeks. The 13- and 26-week bills are sold weekly by competitive auction to institutional investors, and to noncompetitive bidders through Treasury Direct for the same price paid by the competitive bidders.
Treasury billa redeemable FINANCIAL SECURITY bearing a three-month redemption date which is issued by the Bank of England. Some Treasury bills are purchased on tap at undisclosed sums by government departments with temporary cash surpluses, but the vast majority are sold at periodic tender auctions to DISCOUNT HOUSES and overseas banks. Treasury bills bear a nominal face value which is repaid in full on redemption, but the price paid for them on issue depends on the outcome of a competitive tender, with discount houses and overseas banks bidding against each other for an allocation. The Treasury bills which are bought by the discount houses are usually then sold (rediscounted) in the DISCOUNT MARKET to other buyers, principally to COMMERCIAL BANKS which hold them as part of their ‘liquidity base’ to support their lending operations. Treasury bills are issued alongside BONDS both to raise finance for the government to cover BUDGET deficits and also as a means of controlling the MONEY SUPPLY and level of INTEREST RATES. See MONETARY POLICY.
Treasury billa FINANCIAL SECURITY issued by a country's CENTRAL BANK as a means for the government to borrow money for short periods of time. In the UK, three-month Treasury bills are issued by the BANK OF ENGLAND through the DISCOUNT MARKET. Most Treasury bills are purchased initially by the DISCOUNT HOUSES and then, in the main, sold (rediscounted) principally to the COMMERCIAL BANKS, which hold them as part of their liquidity base to support their lending operations.
Treasury bills constitute a significant part of the commercial banks’ RESERVE ASSET RATIO. Thus, the monetary authorities use Treasury bills to regulate the liquidity base of the banking system in order to control the MONEY SUPPLY. For example, if the authorities wish to expand the money supply, they can issue more Treasury bills, which increases the liquidity base of the banking system and induces a multiple expansion of bank deposits. See also BANK-DEPOSIT CREATION, FUNDING, REPO RATE OF INTEREST, MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE, PUBLIC-SECTOR BORROWING REQUIREMENT.