All UK Treasury bills are sterling denominated unconditional obligations of the UK Government with recourse to the National Loans Fund and the Consolidated Fund. They are issued from, and are liabilities of, the Debt Management Account. Treasury bills are zero-coupon eligible debt securities. The DMO issues Treasury bills through regular weekly or ad hoc tenders, or it may issue bills bilaterally upon request from recognised counterparties, subject to certain conditions.
Treasury Bills are issued under the generic terms and conditions of the following: The Treasury Bill Act 1877, The Treasury Bill Regulations 1968 (as amended), and the Treasury Bill Information Memorandum, the current version of which is here.
Treasury bills may be issued with a minimum maturity of 1 day and a maximum maturity of 364 days. However, regular weekly tenders are typically for maturities of 1 month (approximately 28 days), 3 months (approximately 91 days) and 6 months (approximately 182 days). Further issues of Treasury bills will carry the same ISIN code and be fungible with any existing bills of the same maturity date.
Treasury bills are transferable in multiples of one penny.
Treasury bills can be used as collateral in the Bank of England’s Open Market Operations and in Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and are included in the main traded class of gilt Delivery by Value (DBV) for repo transactions.
Treasury bill are held within the CREST system which is owned and operated by the UK-based Central Securities Depository (CSD) Euroclear UK and International.
Weekly Treasury Bill Tenders
Treasury bills are routinely issued at weekly tenders, held by the DMO on the last business day of each week (i.e. usually on Fridays), for settlement on the following business day. Treasury bills can be issued with maturities of 1 month (approximately 28 days), 3 months (approximately 91 days), 6 months (approximately 182 days) or 12 months (up to 364 days), although to date no 12 month tenders have been held. Members of the public wishing to purchase Treasury bills at the tenders will have to do so through one of the Treasury bill Primary Participants and purchase a minimum of £500,000 nominal of bills.
Ad Hoc Treasury Bill Tenders
In addition to issuing Treasury bills at weekly tenders, the DMO may also on occasion issue Treasury bills with maturities from 1 to 364 days on an ad hoc basis. Bills issued through ad hoc tenders will be identical in every respect to those issued via weekly tenders and may be additional issues of existing Treasury bills or they may be new issues for ‘standard’ or ‘nonstandard’ maturity dates.
Bilateral Treasury Bill Facility
The DMO may issue Treasury bills bilaterally, including on request from any of its eligible cash management counterparties. Bills issued in this way will only be created in circumstances where the DMO is satisfied that such issuance is consistent with its own cash management operational requirements. More detailed information can be found on the Discretionary Bilateral Treasury Bill Facility page.