£50 note to remain part of UK currency as 'new, more secure' version ends uncertain future

(George Gillard/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The £50 note will remain part of UK currency after a “new, more secure” version of the highest-value note in England was announced.

It will be printed on the thin, flexible plastic material polymer after the Turner £20 note is issued in 2020, the Bank of England said on Saturday.

The last crop of fifties was introduced in 2011 and its future was uncertain after concerns were raised about it being used for money laundering and tax evasion.

But The Treasury said the next batch will scupper criminals by being much harder to forge.

A decision over what character will adorn the note will be made following public suggestions.

First introduced in 1981, there are currently 330 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £16.5 billion, the Treasury said.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said: “Our coins and notes are respected and recognised the world over and are a key part of the UK’s heritage and identity.

“People should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their money, and we’re making sure that cash is here to stay.

“Our money needs to be secure and this new note will help prevent crime.”

Last year, the Bank of England ignored calls from animal rights activists to ditch polymer notes that contain traces of animal fat.

Polymer is cleaner, more durable, and allows for extra security features to be added, the Bank said, adding they are better for the environment as they last around 2.5 times longer than the paper equivalent.