Money alert: Plastic fivers and tenners

 

The Bank of England has confirmed that the next £5 and £10 banknotes will be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic film, rather than on the cotton paper currently used.

They will look the same, and include the portrait of the Queen on one side and an historical character on the other. The first polymer note will be a fiver issued in 2016 featuring Sir Winston Churchill. It'll be followed a year later by a polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen.

Why are the notes being changed? For starters, the plastic ones will be cleaner, the Bank promises.

Second, they last longer, in fact at least two and a half times longer than paper banknotes. That'll save printing costs and save us carrying around too many tatty notes.

Third, they are more secure than paper notes. "They incorporate advanced security features making them difficult to counterfeit," says the Bank of England.

They are flexible – you can fold them – and fit into wallets and purses as easily as paper banknotes. Something to look forward to then.

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