The 13th September marked the first day of the brand new polymer banknotes being issued. The £5 note is the first of the banknotes to be launched in England and Wales. The polymer made banknotes are much more durable than the old banknotes and can withstand getting wet as well as spending a long time in your wallet or purse.

However, only a select few ATMs in certain cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff will actually stock them for now and, only 7% of ATMs actually dispense £5 notes in the first place. So you may be facing a wait of a few weeks to receive the new £5 notes, which features Sir Winston Churchill.

Below is a table stating what picture(s) feature on each note and when it is released:

Note/BankPictureDate of introduction
£5 Bank of EnglandSir Winston Churchill13 September 2016
£10Jane AustenSummer 2017
£20JMW Turnerby 2020
£5 Clydesdale BankSir William Arrol/ Forth Bridge27 September 2016
£5 Royal Bank of ScotlandNan Shepherd27 October 2016
£10Mary Somerville2017
£5 Bank of ScotlandSir Walter Scott/ The Mound4 October 2016

One important element of the new £5 being released is that the old £5 will no longer be legal tender on the 5th May 2017, so make sure you’re no longer using the old £5 by that date. If you notice you still do have some old paper £5 notes, you can trade them in at the Bank of England.

What does the new £5 note offer?

The new note has multiple new features, and are included on each of the new notes, these are:

  • Better for the environment – the new £5 is polymer, so that means it lasts much longer than the old paper note and thus requires less energy to manufacture and transport the cash. When it reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled in other plastic products.
  • Secure – the new £5 is much safer than the previous paper note. This is due to special features such as a see-through window and the foil Elizabeth Tower which is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back. These are just two of the few new features.
  • Stronger – the new note can withstand being repeatedly folded and scrunched up in wallets, making it around 2.5 times stronger than the old note.

The Bank of England periodically releases new notes every so often in order to introduce the newest security features so they can stay one step ahead of counterfeiters.

Chris Hill acts as commercial partner for both corporate and non-corporate clients and has worked for Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Chris on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Our offices

Pegasus House, 463a Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2QD

5 Sidings Court, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5NU

Jubilee House, 32 Duncan Close, Moulton Park, Northampton, NN3 6WL


01604 645 600


Get in touch
All content © 2018 Hawsons

Pin It on Pinterest

Share or print...