The Royal Bank of Scotland £100 note
The Royal Bank of Scotland £100 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the largest denomination of banknote issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland; the current cotton note, first issued in 1987 bears an image of Lord Ilay, one of the founders of the bank, on the obverse and a vignette of Balmoral Castle on the reverse. The Royal Bank of Scotland began issuing £ 100 notes in the same year as the bank's founding. Early banknotes were monochrome, printed on one side only; the issuing of banknotes by Scottish banks was regulated by the Banknote Act 1845 until it was superseded by the Banking Act 2009. Though not legal tender in Scotland, Scottish banknotes are legal currency and are accepted throughout the United Kingdom. Scottish banknotes are backed such that holders have the same level of protection as those holding genuine Bank of England notes; the £100 note is the largest denomination of banknote issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland. The current Ilay series of banknotes was first issued in 1987.
These banknotes feature a portrait of first governor of the bank, on the front. Lord Ilay's image is used as a watermark on the notes. Other design elements include the bank's coat of arms and logo, the facade of Dundas House, the bank's headquarters in Edinburgh, a pattern representing the ceiling of the headquarters' banking hall. All of the Ilay series notes feature a castle on the back. On the reverse of the £100 note is an image of Balmoral Castle. Information taken from The Committee of Scottish Bankers website. Design elements on the Ilay Series £100 note The Committee of Scottish Bankers website
Danske Bank (Northern Ireland)
Danske Bank UK is a commercial bank in Northern Ireland. Northern Bank was one of the oldest banks in Ireland having been formed in 1809, formed part of one of the Big Four banks in Ireland. Northern Bank took on the name of its parent company Danske Bank as its trading name in November 2012; the bank is considered one of the leading retail banks in Northern Ireland with 44 branches and 3 finance centres. Danske Bank is one of the four commercial banks in Northern Ireland which are permitted to issue their own banknotes. Danske Bank UK is a standalone business unit within the Danske Bank Group and operates under a UK banking licence. Northern Bank was founded in Belfast in 1809 as the Northern Banking Partnership; the bank expanded across Ireland, opening its first branch in the south in 1840. In 1965, the Northern Banking Company Limited was acquired by the Midland Bank, a London-based bank which had acquired the Belfast Bank in 1917. In 1970, the Midland's two Northern Ireland subsidiaries were merged to form Northern Bank Limited.
Under Midland's ownership, Northern Bank shared the Griffin logo. In 1986, Midland re-organised its British and Irish operations, as part of this process it separated its Northern Bank branches in the Republic of Ireland and transferred into a newly formed company called Northern Bank Limited. Midland Bank ran into severe financial difficulty as a result of its 1981 acquisition of Crocker National Bank in the USA and was forced to divest itself of assets to restore stability. In 1988, Midland sold off its subsidiaries, namely the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, Northern Bank Limited and Northern Bank Limited, all of which were acquired by National Australia Bank. After this, Northern Bank Limited was renamed National Irish Bank; the Northern Bank brand name continued in Northern Ireland, but a new logo was introduced, a stylised "N" in a hexagon shape. In 2002, the bank's logotype was changed to match that of the National Australia Bank. In December 2004, the Denmark-based Danske Bank Group agreed to acquire Northern Bank and National Irish Bank for £967m.
The sale of the two banks marked National Australia Bank's exit from the Irish banking markets. Don Price remained as CEO, but was replaced by Gerry Mallon in June 2008; the acquisition was completed in 2005 and Danske Bank invested £100m in Northern Bank. As part of this process, National Irish Bank was separated from the Northern Bank and given its own dedicated management team. Both Northern & National Irish Bank migrated over to Danske Bank's technology platform with a centralised contact centre set up to deal with all incoming calls to the branches of both banks. From April 2006 the two banks adopted new corporate identities which were based on a variation of the Danske Bank logo. On 1 June 2012, brand separation between Northern Bank and National Irish Bank was reversed, with the two banks merged under the Northern Bank management team. On 19 November 2012 the bank formally dropped its Northern Bank name and began trading as Danske Bank; the first Danish branding was unveiled with new signage at the company's head office in Donegall Square.
Since the rebrand, cheques issued by the bank bear the legend "Danske Bank is a trading name of Northern Bank Limited". Danske Bank continues to issue pound sterling banknotes in Northern Ireland, notes issued since 2013 now bear the Danske Bank brand name. In 2008, Northern Bank embarked on a £3m investment programme to upgrade facilities at three of its Northern Ireland branches; as of November 2015, Kevin Kingston is CEO of Danske Bank UK, having been Deputy CEO. Stephen Matchett is Managing Director of Strategy & Corporate Development. Shaun McAnee is managing director of Corporate & Business Banking with responsibility for corporate banking, FX markets, specialist business, regional business centres, agri-business and business acquisition. Richard Caldwell is managing director of Personal Banking & Small Business incorporating branches, mortgage business, private banking, customer contact centres and small business. In common with the other Big Four retail banks of Northern Ireland, Northern Bank trading as Danske Bank continues to issue its own banknotes, a practice, abolished in England and Wales in the early Twentieth Century.
Danske Bank notes are pound sterling notes and equal in value to Bank of England notes and should not be confused with banknotes of the former Irish pound, a separate currency, replaced by the Euro in the Republic of Ireland in 2002. Following the acquisition of Northern Bank by Danske Bank, banknotes issued since June 2013 now bear Danske Bank branding in place of the Northern Bank name. Older banknotes bearing the Northern Bank name are still in circulation and continue to be acceptable for payments as they are withdrawn. Danske Bank has ceased issue of £50 and £100 notes and will in future only print £10 and £20 notes. Danske Bank does not issue £5 notes, but a special commemorative £5 note was issued by the Northern Bank to mark the Year 2000. Uniquely among sterling notes, this was a vertical polymer banknote, printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on Australian synthetic polymer substrate instead of paper, making Northern Ireland the only part of the UK to have issued a plastic banknote prior to Scotland & England issuing the £5 polymer notes in Autumn 2016.
It is the only one of the bank's pre-2004 notes still in circulation. A
Banknotes of the pound sterling
Sterling banknotes are the banknotes in circulation in the United Kingdom and its related territories, denominated in pounds sterling. Sterling banknotes are official currency in the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha in St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. One pound is equivalent to 100 pence. Three British Overseas Territories have currencies called pounds which are at par with the pound sterling. In most countries of the world the issue of banknotes is handled by a single central bank or government, but in the United Kingdom seven retail banks have the right to print their own banknotes in addition to the Bank of England; the arrangements in the UK are unusual, but comparable systems are used in Hong Kong and Macao, where three and two banks issue their own banknotes in addition to their respective governments. The Bank of England does act as a central bank in that it has a monopoly on issuing banknotes in England and Wales, regulates the issues of banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Versions of the pound sterling issued by Crown Dependencies and other areas are regulated only by local governments and not the Bank of England. Until the middle of the 19th century owned banks in Great Britain and Ireland were free to issue their own banknotes. Paper currency issued by a wide range of provincial and town banking companies in England, Wales and Ireland circulated as a means of payment; as gold shortages affected the supply of money, note-issuing powers of the banks were restricted by various Acts of Parliament, until the Bank Charter Act 1844 gave exclusive note-issuing powers to the central Bank of England. Under the Act, no new banks could start issuing notes; the last private English banknotes were issued in 1921 by Fox and Company, a Somerset bank. However, some of the monopoly provisions of the Bank Charter Act only applied to Wales; the Bank Notes Act was passed the following year, to this day, three retail banks retain the right to issue their own sterling banknotes in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland.
Notes issued in excess of the value of notes outstanding in 1844 must be backed up by an equivalent value of Bank of England notes. Following the partition of Ireland, the Irish Free State created an Irish pound in 1928; the issue of banknotes for the Irish pound fell under the authority of the Currency Commission of the Republic of Ireland, which set about replacing the private banknotes with a single Consolidated Banknote Issue in 1928. In 1928 a Westminster Act of Parliament reduced the fiduciary limit for Irish banknotes circulating in Northern Ireland to take account of the reduced size of the territory concerned. Elizabeth II was not the first British monarch to have her face on UK banknotes. George II, George III and George IV appeared on early Royal Bank of Scotland notes and George V appeared on 10 shilling and 1 pound notes issued by the British Treasury between 1914 and 1928. However, prior to the issue of its Series C banknotes in 1960, Bank of England banknotes did not depict the monarch.
Today, notes issued by Northern Irish banks do not depict the monarch. The monarch is depicted on banknotes issued by the Crown dependencies and on some of those issued by overseas territories; the following events and Acts of Parliament affected the course of banknote history in Great Britain and Ireland: The wide variety of sterling notes in circulation means that acceptance of different pound sterling banknotes varies. Their acceptance may depend on the experience and understanding of individual retailers, it is important to understand the idea of "legal tender", misunderstood; the assumption that all sterling notes are legitimate and of equal value, are accepted by merchants anywhere, has become a tourism headache in some parts of the UK. In summary, the various banknotes are used as follows: Bank of England banknotes Most sterling notes are issued by the Bank of England; these are legal tender in England and Wales, are always accepted by traders throughout the UK. Bank of England notes are accepted in the Overseas Territories which are at parity with sterling.
In Gibraltar, there are examples of pairs of automatic cash dispensers placed together, one stocked with Bank of England notes, the other with local ones. Scottish banknotes These are the recognised currency in Scotland, although they are not legal tender, they are always accepted by traders in Scotland, are accepted in other parts of the United Kingdom. However, some outside Scotland are unfamiliar with the notes and they are sometimes refused. Institutions such as clearing banks, building societies and the Post Office will accept Scottish bank notes. Branches of the Scottish note-issuing banks situated in England dispense Bank of England notes and are not permitted to dispense their own notes from those branches. Modern Scottish banknotes are denominated in pounds sterling, have the same value as Bank of England notes. Northern Irish banknotes Banknotes issued by Northern Irish banks have the same legal status as Scottish banknotes in that they are promissory notes issued in pounds sterling and may be used for cash transactions anywhere in the United Kingdom.
The pound is the currency of Guernsey. Since 1921, Guernsey has been in currency union with the United Kingdom and the Guernsey pound is not a separate currency but is a local issue of banknotes and coins denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland, it can be exchanged at par with notes. For this reason, ISO 4217 does not include a separate currency code for the Guernsey pound, but where a distinct code is desired GGP is used; until the early 19th century, Guernsey used predominantly French currency. Coins of the French livre were legal tender until 1834, with French francs used until 1921. In 1830, Guernsey began production of copper coins denominated in doubles; the double was worth 1⁄80 of a French franc. The name "double" derived from the French "double deniers", although the value of the coin was equal to the liard still circulating. Coins were issued in denominations of 2, 4 and 8 doubles; the 8 double coin was a "Guernsey penny", with twelve to the "Guernsey shilling".
However, this shilling was not equal to the British shilling. Banknotes were produced by the States of Guernsey from 1827, denominated in pounds. In 1848, an ordinance was passed that the pound sterling should be legal tender at a value of £1 1s 3d; this was rescinded two years and French currency, supplemented by local issues, continued to circulate. In 1870, British coins were made legal tender, with the British shilling circulating at 12 1⁄2 Guernsey pence. Bank of England notes became legal tender in 1873. In 1914, new banknotes appeared, some of which carried denominations in Guernsey shillings and francs. After the First World War, the value of the franc began to fall relative to sterling; this caused Guernsey to adopt a pound equal to the pound sterling in 1921. For amounts below 1 shilling, the conversion rate of 1 Guernsey penny = 1 British penny applied, allowing the Guernsey coins to continue to circulate. For amounts above 1 shilling, an exchange rate of 21 Guernsey shillings to the pound sterling was used, applying an approximation to the pre-war exchange rate of 25.2 francs = 1 pound sterling, rather than the exact rate of 25.22.
This conversion increased the value of the double from 1⁄2016 to 1⁄1920 of a pound. The World War I issues of banknotes were overstamped with the word "British" to indicate this change. New banknotes and British silver coinage circulated alongside the double coins, with 3-pence coins minted specially for Guernsey from 1956. In 1971, along with the rest of the British Isles, Guernsey decimalised, with the pound subdivided into 100 pence, began issuing a full range of coin denominations from 1⁄2p to 50p; the Guernsey pound, other notes denominated in pound sterling may be used in Guernsey. The Guernsey pound is legal tender only in the Bailiwick of Guernsey although it circulates in Jersey but cannot be used in the UK, it can be exchanged in other places at banks and bureaux de change. Between 1830 and 1956, Guernsey's four coin denominations, 1, 2, 4 and 8 doubles, all carried similar designs, with the Island's arms and name on the obverse and the denomination and date on the reverse. In addition, the 8 double coins featured a wreath on both sides.
In 1956, new designs were introduced for the 8 doubles. These featured the Island's seal and name on the obverse with the English name, the date and the Guernsey lily on the reverse. Threepence coins were issued from 1956, with the same obverse and a reverse featuring the Guernsey cow; as in the UK, 5- and 10-new-pence coins were introduced in 1968, followed by 50-new-pence coins in 1969, before decimalisation took place in 1971 and the 1⁄2-, 1- and 2-new-pence coins were introduced. These coins were the same composition as the corresponding British coins; the word "new" was dropped in 1977. The £1 coin was introduced in 1981, two years before its introduction in the UK, although the 20-pence and £2 coins were introduced at the same time as in the UK: 1982 and 1998, respectively; the thickness of the 1981 coin was thinner than the modern version and the diameter measured less. The 1-pound coin ceased to be legal tender on 15 October 2017 to coincide with the withdrawal of the circular £1 coin in the UK.
The UK's new twelve-sided £1 coin will be the only £1 coin, legal tender on the island. The first decimal issues continued with the same obverse as the last pre-decimal issues until 1985, when Raphael Maklouf's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was added. Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of the Queen has appeared since 1998. Designs on the reverses of Guernsey's decimal coins are: In 1827, the States of Guernsey introduced one-pound notes, with the Guernsey Banking Company and the Guernsey Commercial Banking Company issuing one-pound notes from 1861 and 1886, respectively; the commercial banks lost their right to issue notes in 1914, although the notes circulated until 1924. In 1914, the States introduced five- and ten-shilling notes denominated as 6 and 12 francs. In 1921, States notes were over-stamped with the word "British" to signify the island's conversion to a pound equal to sterling. From 1924, ten-shilling notes were issued without any reference to the franc; the five-shilling note was discontinued.
Bank of England £20 note
The Bank of England £20 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the second highest denomination of banknote issued by the Bank of England; the current cotton note, first issued in 2007, bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the image of Scottish economist Adam Smith on the reverse. Starting in 2020, the current note will be phased out, to be replaced by a polymer note featuring a portrait of artist J. M. W. Turner in place of Smith. Twenty pound notes were introduced by the Bank of England for the first time in 1725; the earliest notes were handwritten, were issued to individuals as needed. These notes were written on one side only and bore the name of the payee, the date, the signature of the issuing cashier. With the exception of the Restriction Period between 1797 and 1821 when the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars caused a bullion shortage, these notes could be exchanged in full, or in part, for an equivalent amount of gold when presented at the bank.
If redeemed in part, the banknote would be signed to indicate the amount, redeemed. From 1853 printed notes replaced handwritten notes, with the declaration "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds" replacing the name of the payee; this declaration remains on Bank of England banknotes to this day. A printed signature of one of three cashiers appeared on the printed notes, though this was replaced by the signature of the Chief Cashier from 1870 onward; the right to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931. The twenty pound note ceased to be produced by the Bank of England in 1943, it was not until 1970 with the introduction of the series D notes that the denomination reappeared; the predominantly purple series D notes were two-sided, with an image of Queen Elizabeth II appearing on one side, accompanied by an image of Saint George and the Dragon and an image of William Shakespeare appearing on the other. This note had a security feature in the form of a'windowed' metal thread.
The thread is woven into the paper so that it forms a dashed line, yet appears as a single line when held up to the light. Series D notes were phased out in favour of the newer series E notes beginning in 1991; these notes were featured an image of scientist Michael Faraday on the back. Series E notes were replaced by a variant design from 1999 onwards; these are broadly similar to the earlier series E feature Edward Elgar on the reverse. The current £20 note was introduced in 2007, it features a portrait of Scottish economist Adam Smith on the back as well as an illustration of workers in a pin factory. The note features a number of security features in addition to the metallic thread: these include raised print, a watermark, microlettering, a holographic strip, a see-through register, a colourful pattern which only appears under ultraviolet light. In September 2015 the Bank of England announced that the next £20 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper; this was followed by an announcement in April 2016 that Adam Smith will be replaced by artist J. M. W. Turner on the next £20 note, which will enter circulation in 2020.
Images on the reverse of the Turner note will include a c.1799 self-portrait of Turner, a version of Turner's The Fighting Temeraire, the quote "Light is therefore colour" from an 1818 lecture by Turner, a copy of Turner's signature as made on his will. Information taken from Bank of England website. Bank of England note issues Bank of England website
British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories or United Kingdom Overseas Territories are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories; these territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of scientific personnel, they all share the British monarch as head of state. As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN; the other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man are under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom; the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries with historic links to the British Empire. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres.
The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres, constitutes the uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, accounts for a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula; the United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory. Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were known as "Plantations"; the first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Labrador.
It retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia, its offshoot, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires; these include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas. The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa.
From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia; these and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean gained independence; some colonies becam
Banknotes of Scotland
Banknotes of Scotland are the banknotes of the Pound Sterling that are issued by the Scottish banks and in circulation in Scotland. The issuing of banknotes by retail banks in Scotland is subject to the Bank Charter Act 1844, the Banknotes Act 1845, the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971. Three retail banks are allowed to print notes for circulation in Scotland: Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank. Scottish banknotes are unusual, first because they are issued by retail banks, not central banks, second, because they are technically not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom – not in Scotland; as such, they are classified as promissory notes, the law requires that the issuing banks hold a sum of Bank of England banknotes or gold equivalent to the total value of notes issued. The fact that the notes are not defined as legal tender means that they are not withdrawn from circulation in the same way as the Bank of England notes, which cease to be legal tender on a given date.
Instead the Scottish banks withdraw old notes from circulation as they are banked. Any notes still in circulation continue to be honoured by banks, but retailers may refuse to accept older notes. All Bank of Scotland notes bear a portrait of Sir Walter Scott on the front in commemoration of his 1826 Malachi Malagrowther campaign for Scottish banks to retain the right to issue their own notes; the Bank of Scotland's 2007 series of banknotes is known as the Bridges of Scotland series. These notes were introduced on 17 September 2007, show Scotland's most famous bridges on the reverse side. From 2016, the Bridges of Scotland series is being renewed with the issue of new polymer notes with designs that follow the same basic theme of "bridges"; the Tercentenary and 2007 series of notes are being withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the polymer series as these are issued, but older notes continue to be accepted at banks. In line with this, the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.
Following the announcement that HBOS would be taken over by Lloyds TSB in September 2008, it was confirmed that the new banking company would continue to print bank notes under the Bank of Scotland name. According to the Bank Notes Act 1845, the bank could have lost its note-issuing rights, but by retaining headquarters within Scotland, banknote issue continued; as of August 2017, the Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of adopting a new series of banknotes. These will be made of polymer. Two have been released, whilst a new £20 note is being designed; the £5 note shows Nan Shepherd on the obverse accompanied by a quote from her book'The Living Mountain', the Cairngorms in the background. The reverse displays two mackerel, with an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean; the obverse of the £10 note shows Mary Somerville, with a quote from her work'The Connection of the Physical Sciences', Burntisland beach in the background. The reverse displays an excerpt from the poem ` Moorings' by Norman MacCaig.
The obverse of the £20 note, to be introduced in 2020, will show Catherine Cranston. The design process of the notes was touted as a "collaboration with the people of Scotland", with a total of 1,178 Scots being included. Nile HQ, a Strategic Design Company led De La Rue printed the notes; each note contributes to an overall theme ‘Fabric of Nature’. Given the national significance of the notes, Nile HQ invited some Scottish designers and calligraphers to develop the creative concept for the new notes; the previous series of Royal Bank of Scotland notes issued in 1987, remains in circulation, although it is now in the process of being replaced by polymer notes: the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.. On the front of each note is a picture of Lord Ilay, the first governor of the bank, based on a portrait painted in 1744 by the Edinburgh artist Allan Ramsay; the front of the notes features an engraving of the bank's former headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
The background graphic on both sides of the notes is a radial star design, based on the ornate ceiling of the banking hall in the old headquarters building. On the back of the notes are images of Scottish castles, with a different castle for each denomination; the Royal Bank of Scotland issues commemorative banknotes. Examples are the £1 note issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell in 1997, the £20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2000, the £5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open Championship at St Andrews in 2005, the £10 note commemorating HM Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in 2012; these notes are much sought after by collectors, they remain long in circulation. Clydesdale Bank has three series of banknotes in circulation at present; the most recent set of notes, the Polymer series, came into circulation in March 2015, when the Clydesdale Bank became the first bank in Great Britain to issue polymer banknotes.
The £5 commemorative notes, issued to mark the 125th anniversary of the construction of the Forth Bridge, contain several new security features including a reflective graphic printed over a transparent "window" in the banknote. Further notes in the polymer series will be introduced over time, replacing the previous paper notes: the public are being encouraged to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten