Belfast Telegraph

Churchill and Austen plastic notes deserve a high-five

By Margaret Canning

Northern Bank once had a flirtation with them, and we all tried to adapt to plastic fivers. Earlier this year the now-Danske Bank stressed that the polymer fiver was simply a one-off commemorative note to mark the year 2000.

But like it or not, we will have to re-adapt to plastic notes when a £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill is produced by the Bank of England in 2016.

After an outcry at Churchill replacing prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, the bank will issue a new plastic tenner featuring author Jane Austen in 2017.

The change follows a three-year research programme which led the bank to conclude that plastic notes stay cleaner for longer, are harder to counterfeit and last at least 2.5 times longer.

Bank governor Mark Carney said: "Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of bank note design to meet that objective."

The Bank of England's chief cashier Chris Salmon, whose signature features on every BoE note, visited Northern Ireland in October to gauge opinion.

Shoppers at Bangor's Bloomfield Shopping Centre were asked for their views, and were even giving the opportunity to handle prototypes.

This writer handled a prototype, and it withstood my tests – springing back into shape after being crumpled. Let's hope plastic is still fantastic in 2016.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph