Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to Citywire’s fund manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

We're getting plastic banknotes, says Bank of England

We're getting plastic banknotes, says Bank of England

The Bank of England is ditching traditional paper notes in favour of polymer plastic that is cleaner and harder to counterfeit.

The first batch of flexible plastic fivers will appear in 2016. They will feature Winston Churchill and be followed by polymer £10 notes, featuring author Jane Austen (see above), a year later.

The Bank has said the notes will retain their current design, which includes a portrait of the Queen and a historical character. However, they will be slightly smaller: for example, the new £5 note will be 125mm long and 65mm high, compared to the current size of 135mm by 70mm. As currently, note size will increase as the denomination rises. 

The move to polymer follows a three-year research project that looked at the different materials on which banknotes are printed. The Bank said the main reasons for replacing paper with polymer were that the latter was resistant to dirt and stayed cleaner for longer. The polymer notes will be more secure as they incorporate ‘advanced security features’ which are harder to counterfeit, and they are more durable, lasting 2.5 times longer than paper notes which will improve the quality of notes in circulation.

Additionally, polymer notes are more environmentally friendly and cheaper to print than paper notes.

The public backs the move to polymer, according to the Bank. Responses from 13,000 people across the country showed 87% were in favour, with just 6% opposed and 7% neutral.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney (pictured), said: ‘Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective.'

Polymer banknotes are produced from a thin, transparent and flexible film made of polypropylene. The film is coated with multiple layers of special ink to make it opaque and a portion is left clear to allow a security mark to be embedded.

This differs from the cotton paper notes the UK has at present where cotton fibres are mixed with water to produce a pulp. Colour is then placed into a mould to create a watermark and a security thread is woven in. The pulp is then treated and dried.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Trump protests: Psigma's Becket reports from the US

Trump protests: Psigma's Becket reports from the US

Psigma's chief investment officer Tom Becket encounters a little more than he bargained for in a recent trip to the US.

Play Neil Woodford uncut: the full video

Neil Woodford uncut: the full video

We bring you the full video from Woodford's recent visit to Citywire HQ.

Play What the Next Generation is bringing to the wealth world

What the Next Generation is bringing to the wealth world

To mark Citywire's inaugural Next Generation Forum we ask tomorrow's talent what influence they think they can have on the wealth industry.

Read More
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: Brewin's Newcastle boss on the increasingly competitive NE

Profile: Brewin's Newcastle boss on the increasingly competitive NE

William Baker Baker, Brewin Dolphin’s Newcastle office head, is a fixture in the firm, having been with them for 30 years.

Wealth Manager on Twitter
Retirement income challenge: we need round pegs for round holes
  • Old Mutual Wealth hires adviser distribution specialist
  • Vodafone leads FTSE higher on European turnaround
  • Treasury pushes 'City visa' for financial high fliers
  • Ex-Coutts directors join forces at fledgling wealth boutique
  • Cable becomes new Lib Dem leader
  • Charles Stanley strikes pay deal with Manchester team
  • Wealth boutique hires ex-Close specialist investment head
  • Friday Papers: May pledges no Brexit ‘cliff edge’ for business
  • Overnight Markets: Wall Street flat as Home Depot pressures Dow
  • FTSE rallies as dovish Draghi can't stop euro surge
  • Boutique plans to unitise managed portfolio
  • ‘Brain disorder research’ scheme guilty of tax avoidance
  • Neuberger Berman hires China expert
  • FCA tells property funds to up liquidity management
  • Schroders veteran Tosato among trio of Pictet board hires
  • Wealth Manager's 25 most popular fund managers in H1 2
  • FSCS opens compensation door at failed wealth firm
  • S&W revenue jumps as wealth arm gains momentum
  • Walker Crips poaches Tilney London director 1
  • Robo onslaught continues with two new launches 2
  • IoD warns May businesses ‘still in the dark’ about Brexit
  • Read More
    -->