Bank of England Charles III notes now in production
- Published: Apr 16, 2023, 9 AM
The Bank of England provided updated guidance on the issue of the four polymer bank notes with the portrait of King Charles III.
The bank says they are now being printed and should enter circulation by the middle of 2024, about one year from now.
Except for the new portrait and a view of the king in a see-through window, the backs with Sir Winston Churchill (£5 note), Jane Austen (£10), JMW Turner (£20) and Alan Turing (£50), and the colors will be unchanged. Since all notes of Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, and can be used as normal, there is no hurry for their replacement.
The reason for the delay is a modern one. Machines, such as those at self-service checkout counters, have to be adapted to recognize the new image, and there are so many of them that it is impossible for businesses to economically do it quicker.
Bank of England chief cashier Sarah John told the BBC: “There is a lot to do to ensure that machines used up and down the country can accept the banknotes. They all need to be adapted to recognize the new design, with software updates, and that takes months and months.”
If the bank were to release the new notes sooner, she said, “We will be putting a banknote out there that people simply would not be able to use.”
Another factor is guidance from the royal household asking that new notes be printed to replace worn bank notes and to meet any overall increase in demand, to minimize the environmental and financial impact of this change. The king is known to be an avid environmentalist.
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