Vicky Allan’s excellent and timely report omits to mention an important point (A cashless society ... Utopia or dystopia?, Technology, July 9).

It was recognised in Athens and Sparta 10 centuries BC that a vital prerogatives of the state was the sole right to issue money. In our country, initially, only the sovereign had the power to issue money. Eventually, banks arose to store people’s spare money (gold coin). But by lending this spare cash at interest back to the public, these banks usurped the power of the sovereign. Soon, the amount of money created by them far exceeded that created by the sovereign.

In 2014, the total money supply was £2.1 trillion – but 97 per cent of this had been created out of nothing by the banks as loans; only 3 per cent, £62 billion, had been issued as notes and coins by the Bank of England. It is a myth that banks lend only what they have in their vaults; banks have a licence to create money out of nothing.

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Almost without knowing it, we have transferred huge, unaccountable power to the banks and card companies. Most of the money supply is controlled by 56 unelected individuals – the directors of the five major banks.

We are now in the final stage of the total usurpation of the creation and management of money by banks and card companies via the digitalisation of the entire financial system and the disappearance of banks from the high street. Very soon plastic cards will be the sole means of paying for all goods and services, and when that day dawns, the entire financial system will be in the hands of those few private banks. And, of course, more insidiously, those same banks will have the power to monitor your every purchase.

Doug Clark

Midlothian