British bank notes set for plastic surgery
Sunday 04 September 2011
The Bank of England is considering a plastic fiver and a £50 with transparent slots to improve durability and protect against counterfeiting in the next generation of bank notes.
De La Rue, the British notemaker, bought the Bank's printing operations in 2003 and has a contract to produce the UK's notes until 2015. However, it is understood that the contract could allow new suppliers to produce some of these updated notes ahead of that date.
Bank officials are believed to be concerned that the £5 note, which as a low denomination changes hands quickly, is not tough enough. Sterling notes are currently made mainly from cotton, but Australia paved the way with a polymer currency that better withstands everyday use.
A source close to the Bank said: "This is at the evaluation stage. A decision won't be made for the next year or two and production a little while after that, but a plastic £5 note is a possibility even though it won't provide as much security as other options."
A polymer note is considered easier to replicate than those with clear, plastic windows within a traditional cotton fabric. The Bank is considering the latter option for its other notes, favouring a trial with the £50.
A far less used note, the £50 does not require the durability features of a fiver, but is more costly to the economy if counterfeited on a large scale. "The Bank is looking at ways of putting a see-through, transparent window on notes as a primary security feature," said the source.
An industry source added: "There are ongoing conversations about the future features of banknotes, particularly in order to combat counterfeiting, between the Bank and industry suppliers."
The European Central Bank is considering similar anti-counterfeiting measures for its second generation of banknotes. Banknote makers are producing prototypes, several of which are understood to include plastic windows.
These notes have been heavily delayed: the first series is already nine years old and was expected to be replaced this year. However, existing notes would have remained legal tender for at least a few years as it takes time to replace them.
There have been suggestions that the first note to start production will be the €5, commencing next year and appearing in 2013. The €10 would follow in 2014 and the €20 in 2015.
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 3 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 4 News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Turkey duped the US, and Isis reaps rewards
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...