Northern Ireland

Danske and Bank of Ireland to introduce 'plastic notes'

hand holding polymer notes Image copyright Danske Bank
Image caption Danske Bank's new £10 polymer note will be similar in design to its current paper note, bearing a portrait of tyre inventor John Dunlop

Two Northern Ireland banks have announced a switch to polymer £5 and £10 notes.

The new Danske Bank and Bank of Ireland currency will enter circulation in February 2019.

Northern Ireland's four banks can print their own money and three of them are now all set for change.

In 2017, Ulster Bank also said it was moving to cash made from plastic material, following the Bank of England's lead in 2016.

The first plastic £5 was introduced in Northern Ireland by Northern Bank in 1999: Two million special edition notes were made to mark the millennium.

Image copyright Bank of Ireland
Image caption Bank of Ireland said the announcement marked "the single biggest change in living memory" for Northern Ireland notes

There is said to be about £2.5bn worth of Northern Ireland banknotes in circulation.

But much of it is now set to be replaced.

Image copyright Bank of Ireland
Image caption There is said to be about £2.5bn worth of Northern Ireland banknotes in circulation

Danske Bank's new £10 polymer note will be similar in design to its current paper note, bearing a portrait of inventor John Dunlop.

Although born in Scotland, the developer of the tyre spent most of his working life in Belfast.

Image copyright Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland is to produce new £5 and £10 notes, with the polymer versions retaining the image of Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim.

Both banks will also introduce polymer £20 notes in 2020 or 2021.

Image copyright Danske

Bank of Ireland said the announcement marked "the single biggest change in living memory" for Northern Ireland notes.

Neither has said when the paper note equivalents will cease to be accepted, but they will be gradually removed from circulation.

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