Bank of England unveils new fiver

Hannah Jordan
Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Bank of England has revealed the design for the new £5 note, the first to be printed on polymer.

The notes began production at security printer De La Rue in autumn 2015 and will enter circulation on 13 September this year, after which time their paper predecessors will gradually be withdrawn, ceasing to be legal tender by May 2017.

The new £5 note, printed on substrate from Innovia Films, features a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill. Meanwhile the new polymer £10 note will feature Jane Austin with JMW Turner featuring on the new £20 note. These will be issued in summer 2017 and by 2020 respectively.  

Unveiling the new fiver today at Blenheim Palace, Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Bank of England govenor Mark Carney said the notes were “cleaner, safer and stronger” and incorporated advanced security features that would make them much harder to counterfeit. 

He added: “The New Fiver will commemorate the achievements of the only prime minister to win the Nobel Prize for literature and one of the greatest statesmen of all time – Sir Winston Churchill. As he himself said, ‘a nation that forgets its past has no future’. 

"Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory and like Churchill, our new polymer notes will stand the test of time.”

The new polymer notes are expected to last up to 2.5 times longer than paper and will incorporate a raft of clever security features. 

Included in the fiver's anti-counterfeit measures are: a transparent window, featuring a portrait of the Queen, with borders that change colour when held at different angles; numerous multi-coloured holograms with one appearing as a 3D image of the coronation crown; Big Ben in gold foil on the front and silver on the back; micro-lettering and intaglio printing. 

Meanwhile De La Rue has said it is looking at joint ventures for its paper banknote business to improve prospects going forward. In its year-end financial results announced last week, the security printing giant posted a 3% increase in sales to £488.2m with a 10% drop in underlying operating profits to £62.5m.  




Printweek welcomes informed debate, but all comments must comply with our house rules which can be read here: A-Z of using the Printweek forums


© MA Business Limited 2022. Published by MA Business Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 06779864. MA Business is part of the Mark Allen Group .