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Bank of England consultation on polymer notes

Today the Bank of England has announced a consultation on introducing polymer banknotes
G4S, banknotes

It would be the first time in the 300-year history of UK banknotes that they would be made of a material other than paper.

G4S moves and processes around £300 billion worth of banknotes in the UK annually and we joined Note Circulation Scheme, which supports the circulation of banknotes around the UK, in 2002.

Responding to the Bank of England's announcement, G4S Cash Solutions Head of Planning and Regulation, Peter Wright, said:

“The move to polymer notes would be one of the most significant developments to cash that we have ever seen in the UK. The last major change in cash supply came with the introduction of decimal coinage in 1971 and while this change wouldn’t have the same impact, every member of the public would notice the difference.

“Changes to the material banknotes are made from and to the shape, size and texture would impact on how we keep money circulating through the economy.  Polymer notes like those being considered, are thinner and can be stored and transported more easily but because they would be smaller than those currently in circulation we would also need to work closely with other ATM engineering companies to modify the cassettes that fit into cash machines to accommodate the new size notes.  As the new notes would be very different, they would also need to be kept separate from their paper predecessors until they completely replace the old notes.    

“As a member of the Note Circulation Scheme (NCS), G4S will respond to the Bank’s consultation and if the public voice support for any switch, we will play our part in supporting the Bank of England, NCS and the rest of the industry to make sure that we are ready for the new notes, as early as 2016.”

The other members of the Note Circulation Scheme are RBS, Vaultex (Barclays and HSBC joint venture) and the Post office.