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.
Bank of England £50 note
The Bank of England £50 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the highest denomination of banknote issued for public circulation by the Bank of England; the current cotton note, first issued in 2011, bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the images of engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton on the reverse. £50 notes were introduced by the Bank of England for the first time in 1725. The earliest notes were issued as needed to individuals; 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 fifty 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, although this was replaced by the signature of the Chief Cashier from 1870 onwards; the ability to redeem banknotes for gold ceased in 1931 when Britain stopped using the gold standard. The £50 note ceased to be produced by the Bank of England in 1943 and did not reappear until it was reintroduced in 1981; these D series notes were predominantly olive green on both sides, with an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and an image of architect Christopher Wren on the back. As a security feature, this note had a metallic thread running through it, upgraded to a "windowed" thread from July 1988 onward; the thread is woven into the paper such that it forms a dashed line, yet appears as a single line when held up to the light. The series D note was replaced by the series E, beginning in 1994; this reddish note replaced Christopher Wren with John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, on the reverse.
As an additional security feature, these notes had a foil patch on the front. The E revision series didn't have a £50 note; the current £50 note was introduced in 2011. It features two portraits on the reverse: engineer and scientist James Watt and industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, along with the Whitbread Engine and the Soho Manufactory, Birmingham; the note has a number of security features in addition to the metallic thread, including motion thread, raised print, a watermark, microlettering, a see-through register, a colourful pattern that only appears under ultraviolet light. The current note is the first Bank of England banknote to feature two people on the reverse, the first Bank of England note to feature the motion thread security feature; this is an image in a broken green thread. The Bank of England has issued new £5 and £10 notes in polymer form. In October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the £50 note would be retained, with a new Series G polymer note planned to replace the Series F note at some point after 2020.
The Bank of England has a committee to consider nominations for the face of the new notes via public consultation. Peter Sands, an advisor to the British Government and former Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, has raised concern with the Bank of England over high denomination notes and their role in tax evasion, he claimed that scrapping the £50, other high denomination notes such as the CHF 1000 and $100, would reduce financial crime. Information taken from Bank of England website. Bank of England note issues Bank of England website
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
Brodick Castle is a castle situated outside the port of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, an island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It was a seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland; the castle is a Category A listed building and the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. A fortress has been on the site since at least the fifth century, when Gaelic invaders from Antrim expanded their kingdom of Dál Riata. By the tenth century Norse influence had grown, Arran formed part of Sudreys or Súðreyjar, administered either from Dublin or the Orkney islands and nominally under the control of the King of Norway; this can be deduced by the number of Scandinavian place-names on the island including Brodick, or Breiðvík. The site is thought to have been a centre of relative importance, on account of its strategic position on the Firth of Clyde. By the mid-thirteenth century Arran was part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles ruled by two Gall Gaidheal kings, Magnus of Mann and Dougal of the Isles, sub-rulers of Hákon Hákonarson, King of Norway.
Alexander III of Scotland had inherited his father's desire to control the islands in order to stabilise his kingdom, made numerous unsuccessful advances to that effect. In 1262 the Earl of Ross pillaged Skye with the king's blessing. King Hákon determined to avenge this slight and set out in July 1263, with a large fighting fleet for Scotland. After linking up with the fleets of Magnus and Dougal, showing his might throughout the Hebrides, Hákon's force anchored in Lamlash Bay on Arran, where they were approached by envoys from the Scots King; the Scots envoys were unsuccessful, battle was engaged at Largs, a short distance across the firth. Although no rout, the Scots were victorious, Hákon's forces retreated to Arran, thence to Orkney to over-winter, where Hákon died; the ensuing Treaty of Perth in 1266 ceded the Sudreys to the Kingdom of Scotland. This is the height of Scotland; when both Alexander III and his heir, Maid of Norway died, the Kingdom of Scotsland was thrown into turmoil. In 1291, Edward I of England, was called on to choose the most suitable successor.
John de Balliol was forced to admit Edward as his suzerain. John defied Edward in 1295, did not answer his request for assistance in his war in France. Edward forced John to abdicate. At some point around this time an English garrison was stationed at Brodick. During Robert the Bruces's time in hiding, following his escape from the English after his coronation and defeat at the Battle of Methven, he is said to have had his legendary encounter with a spider on Arran. On the behest of Robert the Bruce, James Douglas, Lord of Douglas, early in the winter of 1307 previous to their attack on Carrick, attacked forces supplying Brodick castle giving a first minor victory and gaining their forces much needed supplies, he was able in 1307 to dislodge the English from Brodick, one of the first castles to fall to him in his struggle to regain his country. In 1406 – the same year that James I was captured by English pirates and Robert III died – the castle was badly damaged by an English force that had sailed into Brodick bay.
Further destruction was inflicted by John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, in 1455. At some point after 1470 the castle was granted by James III to his brother-in-law, James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, his son, James Hamilton, 2nd Lord Hamilton was created Earl of Arran in 1503. At this point Hamilton added the Lymphad of the Isles to his Armorial bearings The castle had been rebuilt by the Earl by 1510 in the form of a tower house, but suffered at the hands of the Campbells and the MacLeans. During the "Rough Wooing" of Mary, Queen of Scots, Brodick castle was attacked by an English force led by the Earl of Lennox on behalf of Henry VIII, in revenge for the actions of the 2nd Earl. Lord Arran was the Regent of Scotland whilst Mary was in her infancy, was second in line to the Scots throne. In 1543, he had been involved in arranging the marriage of Mary to the Dauphin of France, prior to this she had been promised to Edward, Prince of Wales. Arran was rewarded for his efforts and was created Duke of Châtellerault in the Peerage of France.
During Regent Arran's tenure at Brodick he continued to expand the castle. Brodick Castle did not escape the religious paroxysms. In 1639, Scotland was divided between the Presbyterianism of the Lords of the Congregation, the Episcopalianism favoured by King Charles I. James Hamilton, 3rd marquess of Hamilton, the King's advisor on all things Scottish, was sent north to enforce the King's will, he had dissolved the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland when they had abolished the Episcopacy. Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, was the de facto ruler of Scotland and leader of the presbyterian faction. Argyll seized Hamilton's castle of Brodick. Hamilton was made a Duke in 1643 and recovered his castle the following year at the outbreak of the Scottish Civil War, it was lost again to the Campbells in 1646. The Duke was captured after the disastrous Battle of Preston, faced the block in March 1649, he was succeeded by his brother William, Earl of Lanark, but the second Duke died of wounds received at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
The Duchy of Hamilton and Earldom of Arran passed to Anne. She had been unwittingly sent to Brodick for safety. In 1650, Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads had taken control of the castle and had extended it by building an Artillery battery to defend the Firth at this
Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland plc is a commercial and clearing bank based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a history dating to the 17th century, it is the fifth-oldest surviving bank in the United Kingdom, is the only commercial institution created by the Parliament of Scotland to remain in existence, it was one of the first banks in Europe to print its own banknotes, it continues to print its own sterling banknotes under legal arrangements that allow Scottish banks to issue currency. In June 2006, the HBOS Group Reorganisation Act 2006 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, allowing the bank's structure to be simplified; as a result, The Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland became Bank of Scotland plc on 17 September 2007. Bank of Scotland has been a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group since 19 January 2009, when HBOS was acquired by Lloyds TSB; the Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland was established by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland on 17 July 1695, the Act for erecting a Bank in Scotland, opening for business in February 1696.
Although established soon after the Bank of England, the Bank of Scotland was a different institution. Where the Bank of England was established to finance defence spending by the English government, the Bank of Scotland was established by the Scottish government to support Scottish business, was prohibited from lending to the government without parliamentary approval; the founding Act granted the bank a monopoly on public banking in Scotland for 21 years, permitted the bank's directors to raise a nominal capital of £1,200,000 pound Scots, gave the proprietors limited liability, in the final clause made all foreign-born proprietors naturalised Scotsmen "to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever". John Holland, an Englishman, was one of the bank's founders, its first chief accountant was George Watson. The Bank of Scotland was suspected of Jacobite sympathies, its first rival, The Royal Bank of Scotland was formed by royal charter in 1727. This led to a period of great competition between the two banks as they tried to drive each other out of business.
Although the "Bank Wars" ended in around 1751, competition soon arose from other sources, as other Scottish banks were founded throughout the country. In response, the Bank of Scotland itself began to open branches throughout Scotland; the first branch in London opened in 1865. The bank took the lead in establishing the security and stability of the entire Scottish banking system, which became more important after the collapse of the Ayr Bank in 1772, in the crisis following the collapse of the London house of Neal, James and Down; the Western Bank collapsed in 1857, the Bank of Scotland stepped in with the other Scottish banks to ensure that all the Western Bank's notes were paid. See Credit crisis of 1772. In the 1950s, the Bank of Scotland was involved in several mergers and acquisitions with different banks. In 1955, the Bank merged with the Union Bank of Scotland; the Bank expanded into consumer credit with the purchase of Chester based, North West Securities. In 1971, the Bank agreed to merge with the British Linen Bank, owned by Barclays Bank.
The merger saw Barclays Bank acquire a 35% stake in the Bank of Scotland, a stake it retained until the 1990s. The merchant banking division of the Bank of Scotland was relaunched as British Linen Bank. In 1959 Bank of Scotland became the first bank in the UK to install a computer to process accounts centrally. At 11 am on 25 January 1985 the Bank introduced HOBS, an early application of remote access technology being made available to banking customers; this followed a small-scale service operated jointly with the Nottingham Building Society for two years but developed by Bank of Scotland. The new HOBS service enabled customers to access their accounts directly on a television screen, using the Prestel telephone network; the arrival of North Sea oil to Scotland in the 1970s allowed the Bank of Scotland to expand into the energy sector. The Bank used this expertise in energy finance to expand internationally; the first international office opened in Houston, followed by more in the United States and Singapore.
In 1987, the Bank acquired Countrywide Bank of New Zealand. The Bank expanded into the Australian market by acquiring the Perth-based Bank of Western Australia. A controversial period in the Bank's history was the attempt in 1999 to enter the United States retail banking market via a joint venture with evangelist Pat Robertson; the move was met with criticism from civil rights groups in the UK, owing to Robertson's controversial views on homosexuality. The Bank was forced to cancel the deal when Robertson described Scotland as a "dark land overrun by homosexuals". In the late 1990s, the UK financial sector market underwent a period of consolidation on a large scale. Many of the large building societies were demutualising and becoming banks in their own right or merging with existing banks. For instance Lloyds Bank and TSB Bank merged in 1995 to create Lloyds TSB. In 1999, the Bank of Scotland made a takeover bid for National Westminster Bank. Since the Bank of Scotland was smaller than the English-based NatWest, the move was seen as an audacious and risky move.
However, The Royal Bank of Scotland tabled a rival offer, a bitter takeover battle ensued, with the Royal Bank the victor. The Bank of Scotland was now the centre of other merger opportunities. A proposal to merge with the Abbey National was explored, but rejected. In 2
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Banca Rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal Bank o Scotland abbreviated as RBS, is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales. Both the bank and its parent, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, are separate from the fellow Edinburgh-based bank, the Bank of Scotland, which pre-dates The Royal Bank of Scotland by 32 years; the Royal Bank of Scotland was established in 1724 to provide a bank with strong Hanoverian and Whig ties. Following ring-fencing of the Group's core domestic business, the bank is expected to become a direct subsidiary of NatWest Holdings by 2019. NatWest Markets comprises the Group's investment banking arm. To give it legal form, the former RBS entity was renamed NatWest Markets in 2018. Drummond and Child & Co. businesses in England.
The bank traces its origin to the Society of the Subscribed Equivalent Debt, set up by investors in the failed Company of Scotland to protect the compensation they received as part of the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union. The "Equivalent Society" became the "Equivalent Company" in 1724, the new company wished to move into banking; the British government received the request favourably as the "Old Bank", the Bank of Scotland, was suspected of having Jacobite sympathies. Accordingly, the "New Bank" was chartered in 1727 as the Royal Bank of Scotland, with Archibald Campbell, Lord Ilay, appointed its first governor. On 31 May 1728, the Royal Bank of Scotland invented the overdraft, considered an innovation in modern banking, it allowed a merchant in the High Street of Edinburgh, access to £ 1,000 credit. Competition between the Old and New Banks was centred on the issue of banknotes; the policy of the Royal Bank was to either drive the Bank of Scotland out of business, or take it over on favourable terms.
The Royal Bank built up large holdings of the Bank of Scotland's notes, which it acquired in exchange for its own notes suddenly presented to the Bank of Scotland for payment. To pay these notes, the Bank of Scotland was forced to call in its loans and, in March 1728, to suspend payments; the suspension relieved the immediate pressure on the Bank of Scotland at the cost of substantial damage to its reputation, gave the Royal Bank a clear space to expand its own business—although the Royal Bank's increased note issue made it more vulnerable to the same tactics. Despite talk of a merger with the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank did not possess the wherewithal to complete the deal. By September 1728, the Bank of Scotland was able to start redeeming its notes again, with interest, in March 1729, it resumed lending. To prevent similar attacks in the future, the Bank of Scotland put an "option clause" on its notes, giving it the right to make the notes interest-bearing while delaying payment for six months.
Both banks decided that the policy they had followed was mutually self-destructive and a truce was arranged, but it still took until 1751 before the two banks agreed to accept each other's notes. The bank opened its first branch office outside Edinburgh in 1783 when it opened one in Glasgow, in part of a draper's shop in the High Street. Further branches were opened in Dundee, Dalkeith, Port Glasgow, Leith in the first part of the nineteenth century. In 1821, the bank moved from its original head office in Edinburgh's Old Town to Dundas House, on St. Andrew Square in the New Town; the building as seen along George Street forms the eastern end of the central vista in New Town. It was designed for Sir Lawrence Dundas by Sir William Chambers as a Palladian mansion, completed in 1774. An axial banking hall behind the building, designed by John Dick Peddie, was added in 1857; the banking hall continues in use as a branch of the bank, Dundas House remains the registered head office of the bank to this day.
The rest of the nineteenth century saw the bank pursue mergers with other Scottish banks, chiefly as a response to failing institutions. The assets and liabilities of the Western Bank were acquired following its collapse in 1857. By 1910, the Royal Bank of Scotland had around 900 staff. In 1969, the bank merged with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland to become the largest clearing bank in Scotland; the expansion of the British Empire in the latter half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of London as the largest financial centre in the world, attracting Scottish banks to expand southward into England. The first London branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland opened in 1874. However, English banks moved to prevent further expansion by Scottish banks into England. An agreement was reached, under which English banks would not open branches in Scotland and Scottish banks would not open branches in England outside London; this agreement remained in place until the 1960s, although various cross-border acquisitions were permitted.
The Royal Bank's English expansion plans were resurrected after World War I, when it acquired various small English banks, includin
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