Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, joined the Chief Cashier and members of the Bank of England team in Parliament on Wednesday 11 July to learn more about the New Fiver before it is issued on 13 September. Mr Evans was able to try out the new security features and find out how local businesses and the public in the Ribble Valley can prepare for the new note.
The new Bank of England £5 note features former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and will be made of polymer, a thin flexible plastic. This means that the note is cleaner, safer and stronger. The introduction of polymer banknotes allows for a new generation of security features which make it even harder to counterfeit. The note also remains in much better condition for longer; the New Fiver is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes - around 5 years.
The New Fiver will begin making its way into cash machines and shop tills from 13 September. Paper £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn once the New Fiver enters circulation and will cease to be legal tender in May 2017, up until then everyone can carry on spending paper £5 notes as usual.
A new polymer £10 note, featuring the novelist Jane Austen, will be issued in summer 2017 and a new polymer £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner will enter circulation by 2020. These notes will include a tactile feature to help the vision impaired people distinguish between denominations. The New Fiver will be distinguishable through its absence of a tactile feature.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said,
“I was very interested to be involved with the launching of the new five pound note. The replacement of money notes is not something which often crosses people’s minds, but it is necessary and the new polymer notes are set to save money in the long run. What is more, I am very happy with the choices for figures to be depicted on them. Austen, Turner and Churchill are all very worthy of this honour for their achievements.
“Having one of the greatest Prime Ministers, one of the greatest novelists, and one of the greatest artists that Great Britain has ever produced certainly represents what our great country means. Indomitable spirit and unbridled creativity.”
The New Fiver can be seen online at www.thenewfiver.co.uk or at one of the Bank of England’s regional roadshow events around the UK.