The Crown Estate is an independent commercial business, established by an Act of Parliament (the Crown Estate Act 1961). It has a diverse portfolio that includes commercial property in central London, retail and leisure destinations across the country, Windsor Great Park and a substantial rural portfolio. It also manages the seabed and half the foreshore around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, playing an active role across a range of sectors including offshore wind, marine aggregates, cables and pipelines.
The business generates valuable revenue for the government and on an annual basis pays over revenue profits to the Exchequer.
This account was originally opened under the 1961 Act (as later supplemented by the National Savings Bank Act 1971) as a vehicle for monies held by The Crown Estate to invest with the National Debt Commissioners in securities or other investments.
The account operated until October 2007, at which time all funds were withdrawn and managed independently by The Crown Estate, who had scope to deposit with commercial counterparties.
In August 2020, the account was re-activated at the request of The Crown Estate, seeking to diversify the placement of its cash reserves and working capital.
Under the terms of 1971 Act, monies in the account may be invested or deposited in various different UK Government-guaranteed instruments or facilities, but for the time being it is envisaged that most funds will be held in a Call Notice Deposit account, ensuring maximum liquidity and minimal credit exposure or capital loss.