Two banks to issue new 'plastic' notes

Bank of Ireland and Danske Bank announce plans to launch polymer notes from February 2019. Credit: Bank of Ireland & Danske Bank

Danske Bank has announced it will launch a polymer £10 note and Bank of Ireland will introduce £5 and £10 notes into local circulation in Northern Ireland on 27 February 2019.

Bank of Ireland will issue a polymer £20 note in 2020 and Danske will do the same in 2020/2021.

It will be the first time Danske Bank has introduced a 'plastic' polymer note since, as Northern Bank, it became the first ever UK bank to issue such a 'plastic' note in December 1999 to mark the new millennium.

Polymer is widely regarded as being cleaner, more durable and more secure than paper.

The new polymer Danske Bank £10 note will make subtle colour and feature upgrades to the notes to include a revised main portrait of the image on its current paper counterpart - a depiction of inventor John Dunlop. He was born in Scotland, but spent most of his career in Ireland and worked from an office in Belfast when he was credited with developing the first practical pneumatic tyre.

The new Bank of Ireland polymer notes will retain the iconic image of The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim.

Ian Sheppard, Managing Director NI, Bank of Ireland UK said:

"While the design remains familiar the new polymer notes are different in a number of ways. The £10 note will have two arrangements of four raised dots in square formation, enabling physical identification for the visually impaired.

"The new notes will incorporate a clear window which can be seen from both the front and back of the notes and they will have a shiny iridescent area of ink which changes colour as you tilt the note.

The old paper notes will be gradually removed from circulation by the banks.