RBS to go plastic with next Scottish banknotes

RBS, the second biggest issuer of banknotes in Scotland, will be printing its next generation of banknotes on plastic paper.
RBS, the second biggest issuer of banknotes in Scotland, will be printing its next generation of banknotes on plastic paper.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Royal Bank of Scotland will print its next generation of Scottish banknotes on plastic paper, rather than the traditional cotton.

RBS, which is the second biggest issuer of banknotes in Scotland, said on Monday it expects to issue a new 5 pound (S$10.86) polymer note in the second half of next year and issue 10 pound polymer notes in 2017.

Its plans are in line with timeframes set out by the Bank of England and other Scottish banks. Britain is one of the largest economies to adopt plastic banknotes, which the BoE has said would last twice as long as paper currency and save it around 1 billion pounds over the next 10 years.

RBS said its notes will be redesigned with new subjects for the portraits, and they will be 15 per cent smaller than current cotton notes. It said polymer is cleaner, more secure and more durable than cotton paper. It said De La Rue will print its notes.

There are an average of 1.5 billion pounds of RBS notes in circulation every day. The bank, headquartered in Edinburgh, has been issuing banknotes since 1727.