IS THE BANK OF ENGLAND ABOUT TO PRODUCE PLASTIC BANK NOTES? – For years most of us have believed there would come a time when paper notes would be eradicated and that we would all be walking around with just plastic in our purses and wallets.
Most of us might have thought this concept was that of just a credit card but it now transpires that the Bank of England has unveiled plans for plastic cash.
The new bank notes would be made of polymer and therefore extremely durable. Currently it costs the Bank of England approximately £100 million a year for the replacement of worn out bank notes and the new polymer bank notes should provide a huge cost saving.
According to the experts polymer bank notes are far more durable; for instance if you accidentally left cash in your pockets and put them through the laundry cycle they would come out relatively unscathed.
Apart from the obvious design changes over the years to foil forgers the British bank notes haven’t really changed in over 300 years; so this would be quite a major set for the Bank of England and British citizens.
It is perceived that if the Bank of England does decide to go with the new material then they could be introduced into circulation within the next three years.
Sources at the Bank of England stated tests had revealed that polymer bank notes would last twice as long as the traditional cotton and fibre bank notes currently in circulation. They are also highly resistant to dirt and moisture and almost impossible to tear.
The concept of plastic bank notes is not actually a new idea; in fact Australia has been using them since 1988 and was originally introduced to avert counterfeiting.
Other countries that use plastic bank notes include Vietnam, Canada, Romania, New Zealand, Mexico and indeed fifteen other countries.
Another benefit of a polymer bank note is its ability to be easily recycled. Currently the Bank of England is only considering a change for the £5 note and the £10 note. Once introduced, the Bank of England will study public perception and see how they react to the change and if favourable will then likely roll out the changes to the remaining £20 and £50 notes.
The Bank of England has vowed that if the public does not like the new bank notes then it will scrap the idea.