The Bank of England unveils its first polymer note

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In June 2, 2016
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Source: Bank of England

2 June 2016: Press release

Today, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney unveiled the design of The New Fiver which will be issued on 13 September 2016. The New Fiver is the first Bank of England note to be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic, and will feature Sir Winston Churchill.

Speaking at Blenheim Palace, Churchill’s place of birth, the Governor said: “Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory and like Churchill, our new polymer notes will stand the test of time. The New Fiver, the first of the Bank’s polymer notes, is cleaner, safer and stronger. It incorporates advanced security features making the notes even harder to counterfeit. The polymer is also harder wearing, as well as resistant to dirt and moisture, so we expect it to last for at least 2.5 times longer.”

The New Fiver will be issued on 13 September after which point paper £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn from circulation as they are banked by retailers and businesses. The public can continue to spend paper £5 notes as usual until May 2017 after which they will cease to be legal tender. Following this, paper £5 notes will still be exchanged at the Bank of England. The new polymer £10 featuring Jane Austen will enter circulation in summer 2017 followed by the J.M.W. Turner £20 note by 2020.

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Image: Bank of England