Clydesdale takes note of Burns and bears

David Duffy

Clydesdale Bank chief executive, David Duffy, marked this year’s Burns Night celebrations by signing the bank’s first £10 polymer note in what will kick-start a year of major change.

The bank is preparing for its flotation on the London Stock Exchange early month which will see it split off from National Australia Bank and regain its independence for the first time since 1920.

It will be hoping for an end to the bear market which has struck world markets since the turn of the year in order to avoid any disruption to the process.

The turmoil has wiped billions off company values, forcing Clydesdale’s advisers to trim the price of its shares. Further volatility next week would put a further question mark over the offering, although a postponement would be more likely than cancellation. Virgin Money delayed its flotation at the end of 2014 because of market uncertainty.

The polymer note will go into production this year and be ready for circulation in 2017. It will continue to feature Robert Burns on the front, with the reverse displaying views of Edinburgh, including the Castle.

After signing the new note Mr Duffy said: “It’s a very exciting time for Clydesdale Bank and signing the new £10 note featuring Robert Burns underpins our commitment to building a strong stand-alone bank based here in Scotland that can provide a real challenge to the big UK banks. It’s a privilege to see my signature alongside his portrait.”

Clydesdale Bank is the largest issuer by volume of notes in Scotland. It introduces around £400 million worth of new notes every year and in 2015 reached the milestone of having more than £2 billion worth of notes in circulation on a single day. Clydesdale Bank introduced the first fully polymer bank note to Britain last March.

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