New fiver enters circulation

Today the Bank of England launches the new £5 note. Here's what you need to know.

Why's it being changed?

The Bank of England changes notes regularly to introduce new technology and stay a step ahead of counterfeiters. The previous £5 note (featuring Elizabeth Fry) was first issued in 2002 and before that the George Stephenson note came out in 1990.

What does it look like?

The note is a little smaller than the old fiver and features Winston Churchill on the reverse.




Images shared under creative commons license from the Bank of England's Flickr album.

If you want to see the new fiver in a bit more detail, you can download the Blippar app on your mobile device ( iOS, Android or Windows Phone), use it to scan an old £5 note and watch it transform into a new one!

Why Churchill?

Sir Winston Churchill was a British statesman who was Prime Minister during the periods 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. He was also a renowned author and artist.

"Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom's collective memory and are testaments to the outstanding achievements of the nation's greatest individuals," said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.
"Winston Churchill was one of the greatest statesmen of all time and is the only Prime Minister to win the Nobel Prize for literature. As he himself said, a 'nation that forgets its past has no future'."

What are the new security features?

There are a host of new security features on the new note, some made possible by the new polymer design. These include a clear window, foil patches, raised print, 'microlettering' and a number 5 that's only visible under ultra violet light.

What's "polymer"?

Polymer is a thin plastic. Notes printed on polymer are cleaner than their paper equivalent, last longer (two and a half times longer, apparently) and are harder to forge. And being plastic, they should be able to survive a spin in the washing machine - although we wouldn't recommend testing that!

What happens to the old fivers?

Old paper £5 notes will cease to be legal tender in May 2017 and shops will stop accepting them then. Banks, building societies and the Post Office should continue to accept them for some time after then, but you can also exchange notes directly with the Bank of England.

Want to know more about Bank of England bank notes?

There's an app for that!  It's available on iOS and Android.

Is there any change to £5 notes issued in Scotland?

Scottish banks will be issuing £5 notes over the next couple of months:

• Clydesdale Bank on 27th September
• Bank of Scotland on 4th October
• Royal Bank of Scotland on 27th October




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