A negotiable certificate issued by a bank in return for a term deposit of up to five years. CDs originated in the USA in the 1960s. From 1968, a sterling CD was issued by UK banks. They were intended to enable the merchant banks to attract funds away from the clearing banks with the offer of competitive interest rates. However, in 1971 the clearing banks also began to issue CDs as their negotiability and higher average yield had made them increasingly popular with the larger investors.
A secondary market in CDs has developed, made up of the discount houses and the banks in the interbank market. They are issued in various amounts between £10,000 and £50,000, although they may be subdivided into units of the lower figure to facilitate negotiation of part holdings. See also roll-over CD.