Clydesdale’s fiver is a first for banking

Rear of new Clydesdale Bank polymer �5 note
Rear of new Clydesdale Bank polymer �5 note

Clydesdale Bank launched the first fully polymer banknote to enter circulation in Great Britain this week.

The new £5 banknote became available at branches of the bank from Monday, March 23.

The note, which is made of a more durable material than existing paper notes, was launched to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Forth Bridge.

Two million notes, worth £10 million, which combine images of the bridge with new security measures to create a unique design, will eventually enter circulation.

The limited edition commemorative note also features a portrait of prominent Scottish engineer Sir William Arrol.

Sir William’s company was responsible for construction of the Forth Bridge.

The new £5 note, which is smaller than the existing ones, has been designed by De La Rue plc and, in a first for Europe, has been manufactured on its innovative polymer substrate.

Clydesdale Bank has issued banknotes since 1838.

In a first for UK currency, the note will include a Spark® Orbital™ security feature.

This appears as shiny ink in the shape of Scotland over a transparent window.