UK debt held by foreign investors

One of the most common questions asked is, who owns UK National Debt?

Often  people assume that UK government debt is owned by foreign investors. However, foreign investors only hold about 25-30% of UK government debt. The rest is held by the UK private sector (pension funds, insurance companies e.t.c). Recently, the Bank of England has also been purchasing Gilts under the Asset Purchase Scheme.

In the past few years, the proportion of UK government debt held by overseas investors has been about 30%.

A different, but similar, concept is external debt. This is the total amount of UK debt (both private sector and public sector) held by overseas agents.

UK Debt Held By Overseas Investors 2005-09

overseas-holdings-percentage-debt-dmo

Source: UK DMO | Blog who does the UK owe money to?

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