I was rewatching the movie Brewster's Millions (1985) the other day and there's this one scene that caught my attention: when the title character goes to check out his 30 millions at the bank the person in charge tells him he will get the "special interest rate" of 24% a year.

Is this a realistic value for that time? Nowadays the interest rate is less than 1%. Were the eighties banks that generous? Or is this a normal value for very wealthy accounts, even today?

1 Answer 1


Bank of England interest rate (which is a base rate, not the same as you'd get on the high street) peaked at 17% in 1979 but was still around 15% in the early to mid 80s. It's currently at a mere 0.75%.

So yes, interest rates were massive at that time.

The Bank of England is not a high street bank, btw, it's the authority behind all the money in the UK. Basically, they do actually have a licence to print money ;)


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