Plastic fivers launched on both sides of the Border
The notes are the latest marks move away from the traditional paper notes that have been used by Britons for more than 300 years.
440 million polymer notes will be in circulation come autumn, with English notes featuring Sir Winston Churchill and Scottish notes retaining the portrait of Sir Walter Scott.
Slightly smaller than the existing paper equivalent in circulation, measuring 125 x 65 mm compared to the current 135 x70mm, the new BoE notes can stand up to being washed and feature a key security ‘anti-counterfeit’ window.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch Mark Carney, governor of The Bank of England said: “These notes will stand the test of time.”
All existing paper Bank of England and Bank of Scotland £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn following the issue of the new note, but any in circulation will continue to hold their value and be accepted at shops, banks and cash payment machines.
Ten and twenty pound notes are rumoured to follow this new update later but there is still indecision as to whether polymer fifty pound notes will be printed.
In Scotland, Philip Grant, note signatory and chair of the Scottish Executive Committee said: “Bank of Scotland has been issuing banknotes for over 320 years and I am proud we are continuing to innovate with the development of our new polymer five pound note. Polymer is cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper and will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, while increasing the quality of Bank of Scotland notes in circulation. The new note retains our much-loved design of Sir Walter Scott with the iconic Brig O’Doon pictured on the back.”