UK financial services minister urges caution over central bank digital currency

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should be cautious about whether to issue a digital version of the pound given privacy and other issues involved, financial services minister Andrew Griffith said on Tuesday.

The finance ministry and Bank of England have launched a public consultation on whether to issue a so-called central bank digital currency or CBDC, mirroring moves by many central banks across the world.

“My thinking about CBDC is that we should proceed cautiously, which is precisely what we are doing in the joint consultation with the Bank of England,” Griffith told the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee.

“It’s right to engage and have the very widest – and, to a degree, the most thorough – public policy debate which we have started with the process of consultation,” he added.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by David Milliken)