Q&A: How to get your face on a bank note

image captionRobert the Bruce on Clydesdale Bank's £20 note

Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks tells BBC Scotland's news website what criteria it used when it comes to deciding whose face goes on the front and back of a Scottish bank note.

What gets your face on the money?

For most of our history we simply had famous landscapes and buildings on our Banknotes. However, in the early 1970s we decided that we wanted to celebrate some of the renowned people Scotland has given the world.

Since then we have had a variety of people from the worlds of arts, medicine and science - Scots such as Robert Burns, economist Adam Smith, scientist, Lord Kelvin, and Robert the Bruce.

How do you decide what goes on the note?

We consult extensively with people within and outside the bank.

Would you consider Robert Owen for a banknote?

Given we've just released our World Heritage Sites banknotes series, we have no current plans for a new notes issue. However, we would consider Robert Owen in the future.

Although Robert Owen was not a Scot, his campaign for a better and fairer society and the influence of his ideas on social cooperation has given New Lanark international recognition, and greatly contributed to New Lanark being given World Heritage Status.

In fact, New Lanark appears on the reverse of our new £20 note.

What's the thinking behind Clydesdale's new family of banknotes?

We decided to introduce the new World Heritage Sites banknotes series to coincide with the Homecoming celebrations. This is the first time in almost 20 years that Clydesdale has launched a completely new family of banknotes.

The notes showcase the best of Scotland - its people and its heritage. The front of each new note honours a prominent and innovative Scot while the reverse of each note features one of Scotland's five World Heritage sites.

The new designs are:

£5 - Front: Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin. Reverse: St Kilda

£10 - Front: Robert Burns. Reverse: The Old & New Towns of Edinburgh

£20 - Front: Robert the Bruce. Reverse: New Lanark

£50 - Front: Suffragette and surgeon Elsie Inglis. Reverse: Antoine Wall

£100 - Front: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect and designer. Reverse: Heart of Neolithic Orkney

What design & security features do the banknotes have?

We've introduced a range of new security features including innovative "depth image2 holograms. The new banknotes each have distinctive design elements and strong colours.

The strong portrait subjects, big bold denomination numerals and the use of colour give each note its own individual character while the sweeping views of the Scottish world heritage sites gives rich imagery and personality to the back of the notes.

Clydesdale Bank is the largest note issuer in Scotland, with over £1.1bn in circulation in any given week.

The new notes entered circulation in late autumn 2009. The current banknote family is likely to remain in circulation for a number of years after this and will continue to retain their value after this date.

When did you start depicting famous Scots on your banknotes?

Images of famous Scots started appearing on notes in 1971. Prior to this, the images were of Scottish landscapes or buildings.

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