Bank of England governor Mark Carney's decision to speak publicly about the possible consequences of Scottish independence has been welcomed by Downing Street.
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said: "It's hardly very surprising that the independent governor of the Bank of England might wish to address and consider some of the issues that are involved.
"The issue around currency is an important part of the debate that is currently going on in Scotland. It hardly seems a great surprise at all, on the technical issues, that the governor of the Bank of England might want to set out his views.
"I'm sure the people of Scotland will want to be as well-informed as possible."
First Minister Alex Salmond said he had an "excellent meeting" with Bank of England governor Mark Carney over Scottish independence.
Mr Salmond, who wants a currency union with the UK if Scotland backs independence in a referendum in September, also reiterated that "the Bank of England is independent and doesn't intervene in politics."
First Minister Alex Salmond has confirmed that talks with the Bank of England governor Mark Carney over a currency union if Scotland wins independence will continue in the run-up to the referendum.
Mr Salmond held talks with Mr Carney in a private meeting today, but the First Minister said afterwards: "I was delighted to welcome the new Bank of England governor to Edinburgh on his first official visit to Scotland since his appointment.
"We greatly value our strong working relationship with the Bank of England and its commitment to operational independence and impartiality in political debate.
"The discussion was private but I welcome that the governor has confirmed his willingness to continue technical discussions, inaugurated by his predecessor Lord King, between the Scottish Government and the Bank of England in advance of the referendum."
Scotland's First Minster has said that Mr Carney's predecessor at the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn KIng, had suggested the Treasury could change its approach in the event of a Yes vote.
Alex Salmond told how he had met Sir Mervyn "a couple of years back", and added: "The first thing he said to me was 'your problem is what they say now', meaning the Treasury, 'and what they say the day after a Yes vote in the referendum are two entirely different things'."
Mr Carney, who took over as Governor of the Bank of England in July, has already warned of "challenges" of adopting a shared currency without having "certain institutional structures" put in place.
Scotland's First Minister will have face-to-face talks with the latest Bank of England governor for the first time today. Alex Salmond and Mark Carney are due to meet in Edinburgh.
Mr Carney is also giving a speech in the capital, in which the issue of a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK will be addressed.
Mr Salmond's Scottish Government has put forward plans for Scotland to retain the pound if the country votes for independence in September's referendum, establishing a "sterling zone" with the UK.
- The notes are wipe-clean and can survive a hot wash
- The notes are virtually impossible to rip
- Polymer notes are able to fold
- Governor Mark Carney led Bank of Canada when the notes were introduced there
- Polymer notes are used in more than 20 countries
- The first county to switch to polymer was Australia in 1996
- A move to polymer notes would end 320 years of paper note tradition in Britain
- Five-pund notes currently last for around two years
- Polymer fivers would last for about six year
- Old polymer notes can be recycled
- The Bank expects to save more than £100 million over a decade from the longer-lasting notes
- Polymer notes would be 5 millimetres smaller in both length and width than current notes
- The new notes are said to be more difficult to forge
The new plastic Bank of England bank notes are almost certainly going to be manufactured right here in our region.
It'll mean a new 20 million pounds factory will be built in West Cumbria, creating around 80 new jobs.
Innovia Security in Wigton is close to signing the contract to supply the material for the new-style five and ten pound notes, which will be brought into circulation in two years' time. Matthew Taylor reports.
80 jobs will be created in Wigton at a company that will produce the Bank of England's new five and ten pound notes.
Innovia Security will spend 20 million pounds on a new factory to make the bills in 2016.
The first new-style polymer-plastic five pound note will feature the face of Winston Churchill.
A year later the polymer ten pound note featuring Jane Austen will come into circulation.
Plastic notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design, the Governor of the Bank of England said after announcing that the next £5 and £10 banknotes will be printed on polymer, rather than on the cotton paper used for notes currently in issue.
"Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment."
The Bank of England is to begin issuing plastic bank notes in 2016 for the first time.