Changed economic circumstances and changed economic and political philosophies have been responsible for a pronounced shift in British monetary policy in recent years. The publication in 1971 of the Bank of England's consultative document, ‘Competition and Credit Control’, can conveniently be seen as the inauguration of this shift in policy stance, and the 1979 Banking Act and 1980 Green Paper on Monetary Control provided formal confirmation of the change in official sentiment. Three main aspects have been involved: prudential control; greater market freedom; and new techniques of monetary control.