back to article Winston Churchill glowers from Blighty's plastic fiver

The Bank of England today unveiled the UK's first plastic banknote - a polymer fiver featuring Winston Churchill. Speaking at a ceremony at Churchill's birthplace, Blenheim Palace, the bank's governor Mark Carney declared: "The New Fiver will commemorate the achievements of the only Prime Minister to win the Nobel Prize for …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool, I want one.

    How much will they cost?

    1. davebarnes

      For most of us

      $1.44 USD

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: For most of us

        Was that a sly brexit joke, or bad sums?

      2. Oengus Silver badge

        Re: For most of us

        If I can get a fiver for $1.44 USD, I'll have a few million.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: For most of us

          I'll take any the above poster isn't having - I will be able to guarantee the payment no quibble

    2. TimR

      Re: Cool, I want one.

      I can get you as many as you want when they are issued - £10 each

  2. BurnT'offering

    Luvverly strorberries

    Two punnets - all yours for a plastic Churchill.

    It will succeed - the market has spoken

  3. Andy Scott

    Second plastic notes in general circulation in Blighty

    The Clydesdale Bank released a plastic fiver into circulation in march last year in Scotland. I've had a few of them. I know at one point they were selling on eBay for £100 each.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/plastic-5-notes-are-going-into-circulation-in-britain-for-the-first-time-10128485.html

    1. RedCardinal

      Re: Second plastic notes in general circulation in Blighty

      Ah but you're forgetting England = Britain....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Second plastic notes in general circulation in Blighty

      The BOE fiver will be the 3rd plastic note in the UK.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/MBg4fwz2QHKd49iKujCIXQ

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    This'll make money laundering much easier.

    1. Cynical Observer
      Coat

      No need to use a dry cleaner from now on....

      Coat - looking for spare change

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      That Churchill quote: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

      And that's what chemical analysis will show to be present on most of the notes after just a few months in circulation.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        And heroin. You forget the heroin.

      2. itzman
        Paris Hilton

        RE: blood, toil, tears and sweat.

        And charlie.

        The $64,000 question is whether the new surface is slick enough to let the coke crystals slide off.

    3. Oengus Silver badge

      They survive laundering. Its the dryer that they don't like...

      1. BurnT'offering

        Will they shrink?

        Like crisp packets? Will the hard, shrunken, shrivelled note be legal tender - as a coin?

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Will they shrink?

          Oooh like those plastic thingies you used to get in cereal boxes and bake in the oven?

  5. Wilseus
    Headmaster

    Legal tender?

    "Paper fivers will continue to be legal tender until May 2017, after which they'll no longer be accepted in shops and banks."

    This makes no sense, the term legal tender has nothing to do with whether it is accepted in shops or banks. Shops in the UK are free to accept or not accept whatever payment they like, whether it's in gold bars, postage stamps or Euros.

    Legal tender simply defines what a creditor must accept as payment for an outstanding debt.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Legal tender?

      "Legal tender simply defines what a creditor must accept as payment for an outstanding debt."

      Does that include restaurant bills?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Legal tender?

        Yes, if the bill is presented to you after you eat the food, but not if you pay on order, like at for example McDonalds.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Legal tender?

          "Yes, if the bill is presented to you after you eat the food, but not if you pay on order, like at for example McDonalds."

          Poor example. McDonalds are not restaurants. They're closer to being a seaside cafe than a restaurant.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            Re: Legal tender?

            I always thought it was about settling debts to the state, ie taxes, otherwise I'm fully at liberty to accept or reject your cash/goats) as you please

            1. Natasha Live

              Re: Legal tender?

              It's a good call to say the shops will not accept them, as the banks will refuse to accept them off shops after that date. If the shop can not pay it into the bank then their sure as hell note going to accept the note off the public.

              If you want to run a barter system with the old notes then feel free.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Legal tender?

                Natasha Live "...then their sure as hell..."

                "...they're..."

            2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

              Re: Legal tender?

              I always thought it was about settling debts to the state, ie taxes, otherwise I'm fully at liberty to accept or reject your cash/goats) as you please

              I suspect that if payment is offered in legal tender then you cannot seek legal remedy for non-payment.

              As to whether the shops will continue to accept them, it surely depends on what the shopkeeper does with the contents of the till. If he deposits the cash at the bank, then demonetized fivers shouldn't be a problem. Many big shops accept USD and EUR even though they have never been legal tender. If he simply stuffs it in his wallet, then he's likely to be more choosy.

  6. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Bonza!!

    Get rid of those sharp corners, add a bit of RFID, printed semiconductor technology, and we are good to go on Facebook 'Minority Report'.

    "Hello Neo. Is that a large bunch of Fivers in your pocket or are you looking to buy me?"

    "Ello, Ello, Ello... I was not authorized to look but 'Subject Bob', according to his 'FCRs', Fiver Connection Records, was in the same gardening shop as that suspicious bloke buying fertilizer and used one to load up his car with diesel 10 minutes later..."

  7. maffski

    These new Fivers are useless

    I wanted a Mars bar and a copy of Mongolian Throat Warblers Weekly, but apparently all they have to offer is 'blood, toil, tears and sweat'. Useless.

    Oh go on then. I'll take the tears.

  8. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Madge still looks like she's sucked on something unpleasent, wheres the Duke.O.E ?

  9. DF118
    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: "the UK's first plastic banknote"

      From your link: "It is releasing the limited edition notes a year before the Bank of England puts plastic banknotes in general circulation."

      So I guess it depends on how fine you want to split hairs. It's not the first, but it's the first "in general circulation".

      An argument could be made either way. Just sayin'.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. DF118

        Re: "the UK's first plastic banknote"

        I see your point, but unequivocal statements like "the UK's first..." are either true or they're false, so I can't in good geek conscience agree that an argument could be made either way. Nor would I admit to splitting hairs, because the article doesn't say the Clydesdale notes aren't in general circulation (clearly they are - I've bought beer with them ;o) only that the BofE ones would be in future.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. JaitcH
    Meh

    Will offer "enhanced resilience" against counterfeiting, the Bank of England assures!!!

    Vietnamese Dong notes are printed in Australia. They seem not to have mastered the techniques for making blue coloured notes retain their colour.

    What amazes me is the way ATM technology can manage to handle these extremely thin notes.

    As for counterfeiting, the B of E is dreaming.

    In VietNam the penalty for counterfeiting is death. Even though the highest Dong note (VND500,000) is only worth GBP15.4387 there are many deceased Chinese buried outside Ha Noi attesting to the fact that counterfeiting is a likely crime opportunity with the new Pound notes.

    1. Z80
      Thumb Up

      £15.4387

      Thanks for the precision there.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Will offer "enhanced resilience" against counterfeiting, the Bank of England assures!!!

      "the new Pound notes"

      If someone offers you one of those be very suspicious.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Will offer "enhanced resilience" against counterfeiting, the Bank of England assures!!!

      "Even though the highest Dong note (VND500,000) is only worth GBP15.4387"

      Oh, come onnnnnn!!!! This is El Reg. You can't mention the highest denomination Viet currency without calling it a huge Dong!

      1. Triggerfish

        @ John Brown (no body)

        Yes I went to Vietnam I had my hands on many Dongs, at one point I had a whole fistful of Dongs, Dongs I've seen facking thousands of 'em.

        It's also amazing what you can get when you wave your Dong around out there.

    4. Triggerfish

      Re: Will offer "enhanced resilience" against counterfeiting, the Bank of England assures!!!

      Should be noted though that 500,000 dong might only be worth £15.363956 (according to google), but that £15.363956 is more than the average daily wage, monthly wage is about £110. So counterfeiting a 500,000 dong is actually a fair bit for vietnam.

      As an example, as a tourist that would get me a decent hotel room, a reasonable evening meal and a couple of beers in Hanoi.

  12. Timo
    Flame

    It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

    OK so it can make it through the washer, but what happens in the dryer? Will it shrink up like heat-shrink tubing, or like shrinky-dinks?

    And - "will it blend?"

    1. Darryl

      Re: It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

      If it's the same material as Canadian dollars, they don't handle the dryer at high heat very well. Gets all crumple-y, but still recognizable.

      The two most annoying things are, they're very thin and tend to static together when new, so you have to be very careful you're only handing over one bill, and when they get folded crooked, it's almost impossible to un-crease them and re-fold them straight.

      1. Bob Rocket

        Re: It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

        'and when they get folded crooked, it's almost impossible to un-crease them'

        This is the UK, I give it 4 days after launch before the vast majority of notes have creases that produce an obscene image.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

          Well it already has Churchill on it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

          4 days, as long as that?

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: It is safe in the washing machine - how about the dryer?

        "... they don't handle the dryer at high heat very well..."

        If the contents of your clothes dryer are getting hot enough to crinkle plastic, then you're drying your clothes wrong.

        An opportunity presents itself to save money by setting your dryer to end just when the clothes are barely dry, not roasted.

  13. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Copyright...

    Karsh's estate will charge £6 copyright fee per bill.

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    Time to coin it.

    Couldn't help noticing on a visit to the homeland that 5 quid gets you about the same as 50p used to in certain outlets, like those dodgy arcade stalls. Having a note for such a minimal amount seems silly. Time for a 5 quid coin.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Time to coin it.

      £5 will still buy you 500 penny sweets, is there any other measure of buying power that matters?

  15. x 7 Silver badge

    the Manx Goverment released plastic pound notes around 30 years ago. Problem was they lasted too well, the manufacturers never got a repeat order and went bust. Next batch of notes reverted to paper.......

    I've still got one somewhere

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