RBS to issue polymer banknotes in 2016

The Royal Bank of Scotland will follow in the footsteps of its two Scottish rivals and the Bank of England by switching from paper to polymer banknotes.

In Sync

Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Scotland have both already announced that they will be making the transition to polymer and the Bank of England has recently announced that the new £20 will be the third denomination to shift to the material, which is deemed to be cleaner, more durable and sustainable.

RBS will issue the £5 note in the second half of 2016, with the £10 note following in 2017. This is in line with the time scales announced by the Bank of England, Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Scotland.

‘Completely redesigned’

RBS said that the new note will be completely different in terms of design, which will be partially revealed in the next few months. It also said that the banknotes will include new subjects for portraits.

15% smaller

The polymer banknotes will be 15 per cent smaller than their paper predecessors. They have been found to be cleaner, more sustainable and the increased durability means lower reproduction costs for the bank.


David Wheldon, chief marketing officer of RBS, said: “It is very important that people have confidence in our banknotes. The move to polymer notes will bring significant benefits to all those who use them. They will be smaller, cleaner and more secure.”

A comprehensive education and awareness programme will support the release of the new notes, which will cover information on new security features and how the current notes will be removed from circulation.

“I look forward to unveiling the new designs later in the year, following close collaboration with the Scottish public,” added Wheldon.

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