The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, still one of the bankers for the Government of the United Kingdom, it is the world's eighth-oldest bank, it was owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946. The Bank became an independent public organisation in 1998, wholly owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the government, but with independence in setting monetary policy; the Bank is one of eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the United Kingdom, has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has a devolved responsibility for managing monetary policy; the Treasury has reserve powers to give orders to the committee "if they are required in the public interest and by extreme economic circumstances", but such orders must be endorsed by Parliament within 28 days.
The Bank's Financial Policy Committee held its first meeting in June 2011 as a macroprudential regulator to oversee regulation of the UK's financial sector. The Bank's headquarters have been in London's main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734, it is sometimes known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a name taken from a satirical cartoon by James Gillray in 1797. The road junction outside is known as Bank junction; as a regulator and central bank, the Bank of England has not offered consumer banking services for many years, but it still does manage some public-facing services such as exchanging superseded bank notes. Until 2016, the bank provided personal banking services as a privilege for employees. England's crushing defeat by France, the dominant naval power, in naval engagements culminating in the 1690 Battle of Beachy Head, became the catalyst for England rebuilding itself as a global power. England had no choice. No public funds were available, the credit of William III's government was so low in London that it was impossible for it to borrow the £1,200,000 that the government wanted.
To induce subscription to the loan, the subscribers were to be incorporated by the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The Bank was given exclusive possession of the government's balances, was the only limited-liability corporation allowed to issue bank notes; the lenders would give the government cash and issue notes against the government bonds, which can be lent again. The £1.2m was raised in 12 days. As a side effect, the huge industrial effort needed, including establishing ironworks to make more nails and advances in agriculture feeding the quadrupled strength of the navy, started to transform the economy; this helped the new Kingdom of Great Britain – England and Scotland were formally united in 1707 – to become powerful. The power of the navy made Britain the dominant world power in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the establishment of the bank was devised by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694. The plan of 1691, proposed by William Paterson three years before, had not been acted upon.
58 years earlier, in 1636, Financier to the king, Philip Burlamachi, had proposed the same idea in a letter addressed to Sir Francis Windebank. He proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government. The royal charter was granted on 27 July through the passage of the Tonnage Act 1694. Public finances were in such dire condition at the time that the terms of the loan were that it was to be serviced at a rate of 8% per annum, there was a service charge of £4,000 per annum for the management of the loan; the first governor was Sir John Houblon, depicted in the £50 note issued in 1994. The charter was renewed in 1742, 1764, 1781; the Bank's original home was in Walbrook, a street in the City of London, where during reconstruction in 1954 archaeologists found the remains of a Roman temple of Mithras. The Bank moved to its current location in Threadneedle Street in 1734, thereafter acquired neighbouring land to create the site necessary for erecting the Bank's original home at this location, under the direction of its chief architect Sir John Soane, between 1790 and 1827.
When the idea and reality of the national debt came about during the 18th century, this was managed by the Bank. During the American war of independence, business for the Bank was so good that George Washington remained a shareholder throughout the period. By the charter renewal in 1781 it was the bankers' bank – keeping enough gold to pay its notes on demand until 26 February 1797 when war had so diminished gold reserves that – following an invasion scare caused by the Battle of Fishguard days earlier – the government prohibited the Bank from paying out in gold by the passing of the Bank Restriction Act 1797; this prohibition lasted until 1821. The 1844 Bank Charter Act tied the issue of notes to the gold reserves and gave the Bank sol
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
The Manx pound is the currency of the Isle of Man, in parity with the pound sterling. The Manx pound is divided into 100 pence. Notes and coins, denominated in pounds and pence, are issued by the Isle of Man Government; the Isle of Man is in a one-sided de facto currency union with the United Kingdom: the Manx government has decided to make UK currency legal tender on the island, to back its own notes and coins with Bank of England notes. Manx government notes may, on demand, be exchanged at par for Bank of England notes of equivalent value at any office of the Isle of Man Bank. All notes and coins which are legal tender in any part of the United Kingdom are legal tender within the Isle of Man. Unlike Northern Irish and Scottish notes, the UK does not require the Isle of Man government to back the Manx notes and coins with Bank of England notes or securities. There is no restriction under UK law on the number of coins they may issue; the notes and coins are not underwritten by the UK government, there is no guarantee of convertibility beyond that given by the Manx authorities.
However, the requirement in the island's Currency Act 1992 for the Isle of Man Treasury to exchange Manx Pound banknotes on demand for Bank of England notes in practice restricts the issue of unbacked currency, the aggregate total of notes issued must be pre-approved by Tynwald. ISO 4217 does not include a separate currency code for the Manx pound, but where code distinct from GBP is desired, IMP is used. UK notes and coins are accepted in the Isle of Man, but Manx notes and coins are not accepted in the UK. To assist those travelling, the ATMs at the Sea Terminal, at Isle of Man Airport issue Bank of England notes only. A number of businesses accept euros; the first Manx coinage was issued in 1668 by John Murrey, a Douglas merchant, consisting of pennies equal in value to their English counterparts. These "Murrey Pennies" were made legal tender in 1679, when the Court of Tynwald outlawed the unofficial private coinage, circulating prior to and alongside John Murrey's pennies. Due to the difficulty of maintaining the supply of coins on the island, in 1692, the value of the Manx coinage was decreased, with English crowns circulating at 5 shillings 4 pence, half-crowns at 2 shillings 8 pence and guineas at 22 shillings.
At that time, Tynwald forbade the removal of money from the island, in an attempt to maintain supply. In 1696, a further devaluation occurred, with all English silver and gold coins valued at 14 Manx pence for every shilling. Between 1696 and 1840, Manx copper coins circulated alongside first English, British silver and gold coins at the rate of 14 pence to 1 shilling; as in England, there were 20 shillings to the pound. Thus, after 1696, £100 sterling was worth £116 13s 4d Manx. In 1708, the Isle of Man Government approached the Royal Mint, requested that coinage be issued for the island; the Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton, refused. As a result, the first Government issue of coins on the island was in 1709; this coinage was made legal tender on 24 June 1710. In 1733 Tynwald prohibited the circulation of any "base" coinage other than that issued by the Government; because of the similarity between Manx and British coins, it was profitable to change shillings to Manx coinage and pass it off as British currency in Great Britain, making a profit of £2 for every £12 in Manx coinage so transferred.
This happened on such a scale that by 1830 the island was totally deprived of copper coinage. In an attempt to resolve this problem, a proposal was introduced to abandon the separate Manx coinage in favour of British coins; this was rejected by the House of Keys in 1834, but they were overruled by the British Government in 1839. An Act was passed declaring that "... the currency of Great Britain shall be and become, is hereby declared to be, the currency of the Isle of Man", this remains Manx law to this day. This change was resented: some islanders felt defrauded, there was serious rioting in Douglas and Peel; these were known as the "Copper Row" riots, were put down by the Manx militia. The Royal Mint issued a total of £1,000 in copper coins. Following an Act in 1840, these were valued at 12 pence to the shilling. All coins issued before 1839 were declared by this law to be no longer current, were recalled by the Board of Customs and exchanged by the Royal Mint at their original nominal value for the new coinage.
After 1839, no further Manx coins were issued, they became scarce and were replaced in general circulation on the island by the coinage of the United Kingdom. They did not cease to be legal coinage on Mann until decimalisation in 1971. Banknotes had been issued for the island since 1865. In 1971 the United Kingdom moved with the pound subdivided into 100 pence; the Isle of Man Government, having issued its own banknotes for ten years, took the opportunity to approach the Royal Mint and request its own versions of the decimal coins, which were introduced in 1971. The "Murrey Pennies" of 1668 were the first to depict the'triskeles' symbol and the Island motto "Quocunque Gesseris Stabit", both of which have continued to feature on Manx coinage until the present day. In 1709, pennies and halfpennies were introduced. More of these coins were issued in 1733; these issues of coins have the crest of the Stanley family, Lords of Mann, on the obverse, together
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
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 £5 note
The Bank of England £5 note known as a fiver, is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the smallest denomination of banknote issued by the Bank of England. In September 2016, a new polymer note was introduced, featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a portrait of Winston Churchill on the reverse; the old paper note, first issued in 2002 and bearing the image of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry on the reverse, was phased out and ceased to be legal tender after 5 May 2017. Five pound notes were introduced by the Bank of England in 1793, following the ten pound note, introduced in 1759 as a consequence of gold shortages caused by the Seven Years' War; the 5 pound note was introduced again, due to gold shortages caused by the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars and was the lowest denomination of note issued until 1797. The earliest notes were issued to individuals as needed; these notes were written on one side only and bore the name of the payee, the date and the signature of the issuing cashier.
In 1797, due to the extra money need to fund the war and the uncertainty caused as Britain declared war on France, a series of bank runs drained the Bank of England of its gold supply. The Bank was forced to issue notes of £ 1 and £ 2 denominations; this was known as the'restriction period', as the exchange of notes for their value in gold was restricted. The Restriction Period ended in 1821 as the Government had to anchor the value of the currency to gold in order to control rising inflation and national debt. After a brief period to offset any sudden deflation, the UK returned to the gold standard on 1 May 1821; these notes could again 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 marked 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 five 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, when Britain stopped using the gold standard. Metal thread was introduced on the £5 note in 1945 as a security feature; the printed black and white notes were replaced from 1957 onward by two-sided notes. The first two-sided £5 notes were blue and featured a bust of Britannia on the front and a lion on the back. Series C notes, first introduced in 1963, were the first notes to feature an image of the monarch on the front, with Britannia being relegated to the back. From 1971 onward, with the introduction of series D, a British historical figure was portrayed on the reverse: the soldier and statesman the Duke of Wellington in this case. Series E notes, first issued in 1990, are multicoloured, although they are predominantly turquoise-blue; these notes feature a portrait of railway pioneer George Stephenson, as well as for the first time'windowed' metal thread.
In 2002, a problem was identified in. The problem was highlighted after six members of the public complained to The Bank of England; the Bank said the move was a "precautionary measure while we carry out further tests and investigative work into what might have caused the fault and how widespread the problem is". The bank did rigorous testing and found the problem to be that the serial numbers were printed over the varnish rather than under it allowing the ink to be removed if enough force was applied; the Bank started to varnish the notes in an attempt to make them last longer than previous notes which only had an estimated lifespan of nine months. A spokesman for the Bank of England said: "The notes are still legal tender and the public shouldn't have a problem spending them in the shops; as long as shopkeepers check the anti-counterfeit measures the lack of serial numbers is not a problem. "If members of the public are concerned they should take the notes back to the bank where they will be exchanged."
In April 2013, the Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King announced on behalf of the bank that Elizabeth Fry would be replaced by Winston Churchill on the next £5 note which would enter circulation in 2016. It was announced that the images featured on the reverse would include a 1941 portrait of Churchill by Yusuf Karsh, a view of the Houses of Parliament, a quote by Churchill and a background image of Churchill's Nobel Prize in Literature, while the obverse would feature an image of Queen Elizabeth II. In December 2013 the Bank of England announced that the next £5 note would be printed on a polymer, rather than cotton paper; the bank cited that they would be "cleaner, more secure and more durable". It was said that the new polymer notes would be more environmentally friendly, lasting 2.5 times as long as cotton paper notes, according to the Bank's own environmental testing. The note was introduced on 13 September 2016, with an initial print run of 440 million notes, over the period of co-circulation.
It was announced that there would be a co-circulatory period with the old series E notes, on 5 May 2017, the series E would cease to be legal tender. However, as with all Bank of England notes, they can be exchanged at f