Banking and accounting table

When Britain went decimal in 1971, the Banks converted all customer accounts to decimal. They used the Banking and Accounting table to do it.

It was illegal to write a cheque in £sd on or after 15 February 1971. What did people do if they had to pay a bill in £sd? They used the Banking and Accounting table to do the conversion.

It rounded up and down as was designed to be fair to all. This was the table:

Sterling £sdDecimal £pActual value in new pence
100.42
210.83
311.25
421.67
522.08
632.5
732.92
833.33
943.75
1044.17
1154.58
1/-55.00
1/155.42
1/265.83
1/366.25
1/476.67
1/577.08
1/677.50
1/787.92
1/888.33
1/998.75
1/1099.17
1/11109.58

Source: Your guide to decimal money, published by the Decimal Currency Board.  The actual values are for comparison only and were not part of the original table.

The '/' symbol was used to separate amounts in shillings and pence. So 1/8 was 1 shilling and 8 pence, or 1s 8d.

How did you use the table?

The table only covered amounts up to 2 shillings which was 10p. To convert larger amounts you needed to remove the amount in pounds which stayed the same. Then round down to the nearest 2 shillings, then use the table to convert what was left.

E.g. to convert £5 15s 7d to decimal:

1. £5 stays the same. So we need to convert 15s 7d.

2. Round down to an even number of 2 shillings. 15s = 7 x 2s + 1s 7d

3. 7 x 2s is 7 x 10p so 70p

4. Convert the remainder (1s 7d) using the table. 1s 7d is 8p.

4. So the total is £5 + 70p + 8p = £5.78

So if you wanted to pay a bill of £5 15s 7d you wrote out a cheque for £5.78

If you had £5 15s 7d in your bank account before decimalisation. After D-Day you would have £5.78

 
 
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