Monday Musing: The new ten is arriving in 3 days!

13 Sep 2017

Only three days until the new polymer £10 note is issued! The first £10 note was introduced in 1759. The white note was issued to help maintain the Bank of England’s gold reserves. The idea was that people could use these new, lower denomination banknotes while leaving their gold in the Bank, thus easing the strain on the bank.

It was roughly 210 x 127mm, which today seems very large for a note! It was printed on white paper, single sided with black ink. These notes remained in use with few changes through to 1945 when the £10 note was removed until it was re-issued with a new design in 1964.

53 years later and in its 5th design the new polymer £10 will feature famous British writer Jane Austen. The note will include Austen’s twelve sided writing table and quills as a central backdrop. It will also have the quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading” from Pride and Prejudice.

The Bank of England have switched to polymer notes because they are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper banknotes. With up to 2.5 time’s longer life span, the Carbon Trust has certified that over their full life cycle, the carbon footprint of a £10 polymer banknote is 8% lower than the £10 paper banknote.

There are currently 800m paper £10 notes in circulation. With 70k ATMs that dispense the notes and 17k parking machines taking notes.

As with the launch of any new banknote, all businesses that handle cash need to plan and prepare. A checklist can be found at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer

Forecasts suggest that the new £10 will enter circulation at a faster rate than the polymer £5, as a high volume of £10 notes are distributed through ATMs. Therefore, businesses should aim to be ready for the issue date as the public will be ready to spend their new £10 notes shortly after launch. The paper £10 note will be withdrawn in Spring 2018 and the Bank will provide at least three months’ notice to the public and industry.

All three Scottish banknote issuers will be releasing a polymer £10 note shortly after the Bank of England.

The next note we have to look forward to is a little while away. The new £20, featuring famous landscape artist J.M.W Turner, will be issued in 2020. £20 test production notes will be available towards the end of 2017 for businesses to test.