New five pound note design unveiled

23 March 2016

Bank of Scotland has today unveiled the design of its new polymer £5 note, which is due to issue this Autumn.

The note reuses the existing Bank of Scotland £5 design, with the front retaining the portrait of Sir Walter Scott.

On the front and rear of the note, an image of the Mound has been developed as the key feature. One of the key security features of Polymer notes is the anti-counterfeit ‘window effect’ which has been incorporated on the new £5 note as the windows of the Mound. Another new addition is the area of shiny metallic ink which changes colour as you move the note around causing the number five to change from emerald green to blue.

Measuring 125 x 65 mm compared to the current 135 x70mm, the note is slightly smaller than the existing paper £5 notes in circulation. This size is consistent with the new £5 notes that will be issued by the Bank of England and other UK banks later this year. 

All existing paper Bank of Scotland £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn following the issue of the new note, but any in circulation will continue to hold their value and be accepted at shops, banks and cash payment machines.

The public will have an opportunity to view the new note for the first time at an exhibition in the Museum on the Mound which will run from 25th March to the 9th April. The “Paper to Polymer” exhibition marks the 320th anniversary of Bank of Scotland printing its first paper banknote in March 1696. None of these earliest notes have survived, but the exhibition provides an opportunity to compare the new notes with previous examples, including a rare look at Scotland’s oldest surviving note from 1716.

Mike Moran, director at Bank of Scotland said:

“Bank of Scotland issued its first ever notes exactly 320 years ago this week and we are delighted to mark this anniversary by unveiling the design of our new polymer £5 note. Polymer notes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper notes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of Bank of Scotland notes in circulation. The new note retains our much loved design of Sir Walter Scott with the iconic Brig O’Doon pictured on the back.

“The exhibition is a great chance for people to come along and see the new note and how it compares to other Bank of Scotland notes over the last three centuries. I would encourage people to come along and see it over the next two weeks.”