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£50 note to stay despite calls to abolish it

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The £50 note will continue to be issued and will be printed on polymer “to make it more secure”, the Treasury has confirmed.

Despite calls to abolish it because of counterfeit concerns, it will remain in circulation after Bank of England evidence found demand for the note was rising.

Introduced in 1981, there are currently 330 million £50 notes in circulation – with a combined value of £16.5bn.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said: “Our coins and notes are respected and recognised the world over and are a key part of the UK’s heritage and identity. People should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their money and we’re making sure that cash is here to stay.”

The Bank of England has confirmed it will start printing £50 notes on the new plastic material after the polymer £20 note enters circulation in 2020.

The Bank will seek nominations from the public for potential characters to appear on the new note.

Sarah John, the Bank of England’s chief cashier, said: “I’m very excited to be starting the process of introducing a new £50 note. At the Bank, we are committed to providing the public with high quality notes they can use with confidence. Moving the £50 note onto polymer is an important next step to ensure we can continue to do that.”

According to the Bank, polymer notes are cleaner, safer and stronger. They are harder to counterfeit and because they last around 2.5 times longer than paper notes, they are also more environmentally friendly.

The £5 and £10 notes are already printed on polymer.