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Special edition for Children in Need

Bank of Scotland to print polymer banknotes

Bank of Scotland noteBank of Scotland is the latest bank to issue plastic-based banknotes. Its next £5 and £10 banknotes will be printed on polymer, with the first bring issued in November to celebrate the bank’s partnership with BBC Children in Need.

Polymer is a thin flexible plastic film, replacing the cotton paper used for notes currently in issue. Clydesdale Bank recently began issuing polymer notes.

The Bank of Scotland notes will be slightly smaller with the new £5 note measuring 125 x 65 mm compared to the current 135 x 70mm.

The new notes will be printed by De La Rue and will reuse the existing Bank of Scotland banknote designs, with Sir Walter Scott and The Mound on the front of the note and the bridges theme continuing on the back. The images will be adapted and modernised so they are suitable for polymer.

The first Bank of Scotland polymer banknote will be a one off limited edition £5 note that will be issued in November and will be auctioned to raise money for BBC Children in Need. The circulation will be limited to just 50 notes so will be popular among collectors. The notes will feature the designs from winners of a children’s competition that is being launched today.

The design of the main replacement polymer £5 note will be unveiled before the end of this year with the note issuing in the second half of 2016.  It will be followed around a year later by the polymer £10 note.

The announcement follows engagement with the Bank of England which has announced a similar timeframe for printing polymer notes.

The issue of the new notes will be supported by a comprehensive education programme which will include information about the new security features for authentication of the banknote as well as details of how the current paper £5 and £10 banknotes will be withdrawn from circulation.

Robin Bulloch, managing director Bank of Scotland said: “Bank of Scotland has been issuing banknotes for over 300 years and we take seriously our responsibility to create good quality genuine banknotes that can be used with confidence.

“Polymer notes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper notes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of Bank of Scotland notes in circulation.”

Mary Duffy, Head of BBC Children in Need Scotland added: “We are delighted to be involved with the launch of these new notes, and as a judge on the panel I look forward to seeing some of the exciting submissions from our young designers.”

Bank of Scotland was one of the first banks in Europe to successfully issue banknotes, a year after it was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1695.

The last design of Bank of Scotland notes were issued in 2007 and featured the common theme of Scottish bridges. There have been 47 previous separate series of notes issued by Bank of Scotland. 

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