Bank Of England Releases The New Plastic £5 Note #Fiver

Bank Of England has just released the new plastic £5 note and ATMs in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff will be among the first to stock them.

New polymer banknotes
Note/Bank Picture Date for introduction
£5 Bank of England Sir Winston Churchill 13 September 2016
£10 Jane Austen Summer 2017
£20 JMW Turner by 2020
£5 Clydesdale Bank Sir William Arrol/ Forth Bridge 27 September 2016
£5 Royal Bank of Scotland Nan Shepherd 27 October 2016
£10 Mary Somerville 2017
£5 Bank of Scotland Sir Walter Scott/ The Mound 4 October 2016


– There are currently around 329million £5 paper notes in circulation, so it will take time for the existing notes to be replaced.

– The new banknote is resistant to dirt and moisture, helping it to stay in better condition for longer.

– Only a tiny proportion of existing banknotes are counterfeit according to the Bank of England’s figures – 0.0075 per cent in 2015.

– The design of the new £5 note includes a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill from a photograph taken by Yousuf Karsh on December 30 1941 as well as a view of Westminster.

– Some 21,835 banknotes were replaced in 2015 due to damage, according to the Bank of England. This included 10,761 notes that were torn as well as notes that had been washed, chewed, damaged by fire or contaminated in some way.


The BBC reports:

A total of 440 million new £5 notes have been printed.

The polymer note – which is much more durable than the old fiver – will initially only be available from a handful of banks and cash points.

But only about 7% of cash machines dispense £5 notes in any case.

However, most bank branches are expected to have the notes within a week or so, suggesting those who want to obtain one may have to go into a bank and ask for one.

In Scotland, some plastic notes have been available on a limited basis since March 2015.

The Clydesdale Bank will stage a full roll-out of plastic notes later this month, followed by the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland in October.

In Northern Ireland the first plastic notes were issued in October 1999 by the then Northern Bank – now known as Danske Bank.

Two million notes were put into circulation to mark the millennium.

Washing machine

The new fiver will depict Winston Churchill on the back.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said the new note would be cleaner, safer and stronger.

“The use of polymer means it can better withstand being repeatedly folded into wallets or scrunched up inside pockets, and can also survive a spin in the washing machine,” he said.

However, the notes are not indestructible.

New security features – such as a transparent window – will make the note harder to counterfeit.

The polymer notes are expected to last an average of five years – compared to the current note’s two years.

The old fiver will continue to be valid until 5 May 2017, by which time the Bank expects most of them will have been removed from circulation.

A new polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen is due to be released in a year’s time, with a £20 note, featuring the artist Turner, to be launched by 2020.

The new notes will also be easier for blind or partially-sighted people to use.

“To help blind and vision impaired people distinguish between denominations, the notes retain tiered sizing and include bold numerals and similar colour palettes to the current notes,” said Victoria Cleland, the Bank of England’s chief cashier.

“In addition, polymer £10 and £20 notes will each have a tactile feature created by a series of raised dots, and the £5 note will be distinguishable by the absence of a feature.”


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