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Plastic £5 notes to be introduced from 2015


Plastic £5 bank notes will be in use in Great Britain as early as next year when 2 million bank notes are issued by Clydesdale Bank branches.

However, only Scottish bank notes will be introduced in 2015, with the Bank of England expected to introduce plastic notes into general circulation by 2016.

The Scottish banknote will feature the Forth Bridge on its 125th anniversary as well as a portrait of Sir William Arrol (the owner of the company which constructed the bridge).

More durable and secure

The plastic banknote is said to last 2.5 times longer than the cotton banknotes that are currently in general circulation.

Additionally, it is claimed that they would survive conditions cotton notes cannot – such as being accidently put in the washing machine.

Whilst they would melt under extreme heat, it would require something such as an iron for this to happen.

The banknotes have also been praised for their additional security features, as it will now be more difficult to create counterfeit versions of the note.

Growing popularity

The use of plastic banknotes has steadily grown in popularity over the last few decades as more than 20 countries in the world have adopted them.

These countries include Canada, whose last Governor of the central bank was Mark Carney, the current Governor of the Bank of England.

Additionally, other banks in and around Great Britain have used plastic banknotes in the past. For example, the Isle of Man introduced one in 1983 but was forced to withdraw it in 1988 owing to problems with the ink.

The Northern Bank of Northern Ireland also issued a plastic £5 bank note in 1999 to commemorate the new millennium.

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