Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as a policyholder; the insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, involves something in which the insured has an insurable interest established by ownership, possession, or pre-existing relationship; the insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insurer will compensate the insured. The amount of money charged by the insurer to the Policyholder for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium.
If the insured experiences a loss, covered by the insurance policy, the insured submits a claim to the insurer for processing by a claims adjuster. The insurer may hedge its own risk by taking out reinsurance, whereby another insurance company agrees to carry some of the risk if the primary insurer deems the risk too large for it to carry. Methods for transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively. Chinese merchants travelling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing; the Babylonians developed a system, recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi, c. 1750 BC, practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants. If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen, or lost at sea. Circa 800 BC, the inhabitants of Rhodes created the'general average'.
This allowed groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods being shipped together. The collected premiums would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during transport, whether due to storm or sinkage. Separate insurance contracts were invented in Genoa in the 14th century, as were insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates; the first known insurance contract dates from Genoa in 1347, in the next century maritime insurance developed and premiums were intuitively varied with risks. These new insurance contracts allowed insurance to be separated from investment, a separation of roles that first proved useful in marine insurance. Insurance became far more sophisticated in Enlightenment era Europe, specialized varieties developed. Property insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses; the devastating effects of the fire converted the development of insurance "from a matter of convenience into one of urgency, a change of opinion reflected in Sir Christopher Wren's inclusion of a site for'the Insurance Office' in his new plan for London in 1667."
A number of attempted fire insurance schemes came to nothing, but in 1681, economist Nicholas Barbon and eleven associates established the first fire insurance company, the "Insurance Office for Houses," at the back of the Royal Exchange to insure brick and frame homes. 5,000 homes were insured by his Insurance Office. At the same time, the first insurance schemes for the underwriting of business ventures became available. By the end of the seventeenth century, London's growing importance as a center for trade was increasing demand for marine insurance. In the late 1680s, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house, which became the meeting place for parties in the shipping industry wishing to insure cargoes and ships, those willing to underwrite such ventures; these informal beginnings led to the establishment of the insurance market Lloyd's of London and several related shipping and insurance businesses. The first life insurance policies were taken out in the early 18th century; the first company to offer life insurance was the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, founded in London in 1706 by William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen.
Edward Rowe Mores established the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorship in 1762. It was the world's first mutual insurer and it pioneered age based premiums based on mortality rate laying "the framework for scientific insurance practice and development" and "the basis of modern life assurance upon which all life assurance schemes were subsequently based."In the late 19th century "accident insurance" began to become available. The first company to offer accident insurance was the Railway Passengers Assurance Company, formed in 1848 in England to insure against the rising number of fatalities on the nascent railway system. By the late 19th century governments began to initiate national insurance programs against sickness and old age. Germany built on a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as in the 1840s. In the 1880s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced old age pensions, accident insurance and medical care that formed the basis for Germany's welfare state.
In Britain more extensive legislation was introduced by the Liberal government in the 1911 National Insurance Act. This gave the British working classes the first contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment; this system was expanded after the Second World War under the inf
The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body and back legs of a lion. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds by the Middle Ages the griffin was thought to be an powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In Greek and Roman texts and Arimaspians were associated with gold deposits of Central Asia. Indeed, as Pliny the Elder wrote, "griffins were said to lay eggs in burrows on the ground and these nests contained gold nuggets."In medieval heraldry, the Griffin became a Christian symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. The derivation of this word remains uncertain, it could be related to the Greek word γρυπός, meaning'curved', or'hooked'. This could have been an Anatolian loan word, compare Akkadian karūbu, similar to Cherub. A related Hebrew word is כרוב. Most statuary representations of griffins depict them with bird-like talons, although in some older illustrations griffins have a lion's forelimbs.
Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears. Infrequently, a griffin is portrayed without wings, or a wingless eagle-headed lion is identified as a griffin. In 15th-century and heraldry, such a beast may be called an alce or a keythong. In heraldry, a griffin always has forelegs like an eagle's hind-legs. A type of griffin with the four legs of a lion was distinguished by only one English herald of heraldry as the Opinicus, which had a camel-like neck and a short tail that resembles a camel's tail. There is evidence of representations of griffins in Ancient Iranian and Ancient Egyptian art dating back to before 3000 BC. In Egypt, a griffin can be seen in a cosmetic palette from Hierakonpolis, known as the "Two Dog Palette", dated to ca. 3300-3100 BC. In Iranian mythology, griffin is called Shirdal means: Lion-Eagle. Shirdal have used in ancient art of Iran since late second millennium BC. Shirdals appeared on cylinder seals from Susa as early as 3000 BC. Shirdals are common motifs in the art of Luristan and North West region of Iran in Iron Age, Achaemenid art.
Griffin depictions appear in the Levant and Anatolia in the Middle Bronze Age, dated at about 1950-1550 BC. Early depictions of griffins in Ancient Greek art are found in the 15th century BC frescoes in the Throne Room of the Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, as restored by Sir Arthur Evans, it continued being a favored decorative theme in Classical Greek art. In Central Asia, the griffin appears about a thousand years after Bronze Age Crete, in the 5th–4th centuries BC originating from the Achaemenid Persian Empire; the Achaemenids considered the griffin "a protector from evil and secret slander". The modern generalist calls it the lion-griffin, as for example, Robin Lane Fox, in Alexander the Great, 1973:31 and notes p. 506, who remarks a lion-griffin attacking a stag in a pebble mosaic at Pella as an emblem of the kingdom of Macedon or a personal one of Alexander's successor Antipater. The Pisa Griffin is a large bronze sculpture, in Pisa in Italy since the Middle Ages, though it is of Islamic origin.
It is the largest bronze medieval Islamic sculpture known, at over three feet tall, was created in the 11th century in Al-Andaluz. From about 1100 it was placed on a column on the roof of Pisa Cathedral until replaced by a replica in 1832. Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist and historian of science, proposes that the ancient Greek idea and image of the griffin in classical art and literature beginning in the seventh century BC was influenced in part by the fossilized remains of beaked dinosaurs such as Protoceratops observed on the way to gold deposits by nomadic prospectors of ancient Scythia, This hypothesis is speculative, based on a number of Greek and Latin literary sources and related artworks, beginning with the first written ancient descriptions of griffins in a lost work by Aristeas of Proconnessus in the seventh century BC), cited by Aeschylus and Herodotus and ending with Aelian. Mayor's suggestion has been contested in a blog claiming that it ignores pre-Mycenaean accounts and bird-lion composites in earlier art that goes far earlier than 7th century BCE..
A multitude of imaginary composite creatures combining features of birds and mammals can be found in ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern art, including mammals with bird heads in Minoan, Mycenaean,and Egyptian art, but there are no pre-Mycenaean written accounts about Griffins. Mayor's suggestion is speculative, intended to account for the profusion of Greco-Latin literary accounts of the "gryps" as a real animal of the East and the accompanying popularity of artistic representations that arose in Greece after travelers like Aristeas brought back tales of "Griffins" from Central Asia. Several ancient mythological creatures are similar to the griffin; these include the Lama
A mortgage loan or mortgage is used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or alternatively by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose, while putting a lien on the property being mortgaged. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property through a process known as mortgage origination; this means that a legal mechanism is put into place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property to pay off the loan in the event the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a Law French term used in Britain in the Middle Ages meaning "death pledge" and refers to the pledge ending when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. A mortgage can be described as "a borrower giving consideration in the form of a collateral for a benefit". Mortgage borrowers can be individuals mortgaging their home or they can be businesses mortgaging commercial property.
The lender will be a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union or building society, depending on the country concerned, the loan arrangements can be made either directly or indirectly through intermediaries. Features of mortgage loans such as the size of the loan, maturity of the loan, interest rate, method of paying off the loan, other characteristics can vary considerably; the lender's rights over the secured property take priority over the borrower's other creditors, which means that if the borrower becomes bankrupt or insolvent, the other creditors will only be repaid the debts owed to them from a sale of the secured property if the mortgage lender is repaid in full first. In many jurisdictions, it is normal for home purchases to be funded by a mortgage loan. Few individuals have enough savings or liquid funds to enable them to purchase property outright. In countries where the demand for home ownership is highest, strong domestic markets for mortgages have developed. Mortgages can either be funded through the banking sector or through the capital markets through a process called "securitization", which converts pools of mortgages into fungible bonds that can be sold to investors in small denominations.
According to Anglo-American property law, a mortgage occurs when an owner pledges his or her interest as security or collateral for a loan. Therefore, a mortgage is an encumbrance on the right to the property just as an easement would be, but because most mortgages occur as a condition for new loan money, the word mortgage has become the generic term for a loan secured by such real property; as with other types of loans, mortgages have an interest rate and are scheduled to amortize over a set period of time 30 years. All types of real property can be, are, secured with a mortgage and bear an interest rate, supposed to reflect the lender's risk. Mortgage lending is the primary mechanism used in many countries to finance private ownership of residential and commercial property. Although the terminology and precise forms will differ from country to country, the basic components tend to be similar: Property: the physical residence being financed; the exact form of ownership will vary from country to country, may restrict the types of lending that are possible.
Mortgage: the security interest of the lender in the property, which may entail restrictions on the use or disposal of the property. Restrictions may include requirements to purchase home insurance and mortgage insurance, or pay off outstanding debt before selling the property. Borrower: the person borrowing who either has or is creating an ownership interest in the property. Lender: any lender, but a bank or other financial institution. Principal: the original size of the loan, which may or may not include certain other costs. Interest: a financial charge for use of the lender's money. Foreclosure or repossession: the possibility that the lender has to foreclose, repossess or seize the property under certain circumstances is essential to a mortgage loan. Completion: legal completion of the mortgage deed, hence the start of the mortgage. Redemption: final repayment of the amount outstanding, which may be a "natural redemption" at the end of the scheduled term or a lump sum redemption when the borrower decides to sell the property.
A closed mortgage account is said to be "redeemed". Many other specific characteristics are common to many markets, but the above are the essential features. Governments regulate many aspects of mortgage lending, either directly or indirectly, through state intervention. Other aspects that define a specific mortgage market may be regional, historical, or driven by specific characteristics of the legal or financial system. Mortgage loans are gen
The krone is the official currency of Denmark and the Faroe Islands, introduced on 1 January 1875. Both the ISO code "DKK" and currency sign "kr." are in common use. The currency is sometimes referred to as the Danish crown in English, since krone means crown. Krone coins have been minted in Denmark since the 17th century. One krone is subdivided into 100 øre, the name øre deriving from Latin aureus meaning "gold coin", or more plausibly from Latin as, pl aeres, meaning "bronze coin", from aes, aeris, "bronze". Altogether there are eleven denominations of the krone, with the smallest being the 50 øre coin, valued at one half of a krone. There were more øre coins, but those were discontinued due to inflation; the krone is pegged to the euro via the European Union's exchange rate mechanism. Adoption of the euro is favoured by some of the major political parties, however a 2000 referendum on joining the Eurozone was defeated with 53.2% voting to maintain the krone and 46.8% voting to join the Eurozone.
The oldest known Danish coin is a penny struck AD 825–840, but the earliest systematic minting produced the so-called korsmønter or "cross coins" minted by Harald Bluetooth in the late 10th century. Organised minting in Denmark was introduced on a larger scale by Canute the Great in the 1020s. Lund, now in Sweden, was the principal minting place and one of Denmark's most important cities in the Middle Ages, but coins were minted in Roskilde, Odense, Aalborg, Århus, Ribe, Ørbæk and Hedeby. For 1,000 years, Danish kings – with a few exceptions – have issued coins with their name, monogram and/or portrait. Taxes were sometimes imposed via the coinage, e.g. by the compulsory substitution of coins handed in by new coins handed out with a lower silver content. Danish coinage was based on the Carolingian silver standard. Periodically, the metal value of the minted coins was reduced, thus did not correspond to the face value of the coins; this was done to generate income for the monarch and/or the state.
As a result of the debasement, the public started to lose trust in the respective coins. Danish currency was overhauled several times in attempts to restore public trust in the coins, in issued paper money. In 1619 a new currency was introduced in the krone. One krone had the value of 1 1/2 Danish Rigsdaler Species accounting for 96 Kroneskillinger for 144 common Skillings; until the late 18th century, the krone was a denomination equal to 8 mark, a subunit of the Danish rigsdaler. A new krone was introduced as the currency of Denmark in January 1875, it replaced the rigsdaler at a rate of 2 kroner. This placed the krone on the gold standard at a rate of 2480 kroner; the latter part of the 18th century and much of the 19th century saw expanding economic activity and thus a need for means of payment that were easier to handle than coins. Banknotes were used instead of coins; the introduction of the new krone was a result of the Scandinavian Monetary Union, which came into effect in 1873 and lasted until World War I.
The parties to the union were the three Scandinavian countries, where the name was krone in Denmark and Norway and krona in Sweden, a word which in all three languages means crown. The three currencies were on the gold standard, with the krone/krona defined as 1⁄2480 of a kilogram of pure gold; the Scandinavian Monetary Union came to an end in 1914. Denmark and Norway all decided to keep the names of their respective and now separate currencies. Denmark returned to the gold standard in 1924 but left it permanently in 1931. Between 1940 and 1945, the krone was tied to the German Reichsmark. Following the end of the German occupation, a rate of 24 kroner to the British pound was introduced, reduced to 19.34 in August the same year. Within the Bretton Woods System, Denmark devalued its currency with the pound in 1949 to a rate of 6.91 to the dollar. A further devaluation in 1967 resulted in rates of 7.5 kroner. In 2014, it was decided to stop printing of the Krone in Denmark, but the work would be outsourced, on 20 December 2016, the last notes were printed by the National Bank.
Denmark has not introduced the euro, following a rejection by referendum in 2000, but the Danish krone is pegged to the euro in ERM II, the EU's exchange rate mechanism. Denmark borders one eurozone member and one EU member, obliged to join the euro in the future; the Faroe Islands uses a localized, non-independent version of the Danish krone, known as the Faroese króna pegged with the Danish krone at par, using the Danish coin series, but have their own series of distinct banknotes, first being issued in the 1950s and modernized in the 1970s and the 2000s. Greenland adopted the Act on Banknotes in Greenland in 2006 with a view to introducing separate Greenlandic banknotes; the Act entered into force on 1 June 2007. In the autumn of 2010, a new Greenlandic government indicated that it did not wish to introduce separate Greenlandic banknotes and Danmarks Nationalbank ceased the project to develop a Greenlandic series. Still, Greenland continues to use Danish kroner as sole official currency. Greenland under the colonial administration issued distinct banknotes between 1803 and 1968, together with co
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
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain