ATMs to dispense more £5 notes in New Year

| December 7, 2009 | 0 Comments

In a bid to boost circulation of the £5 note, the Bank of England has said it will urge major banks to increase the availability of £5 notes in their ATMs.

Fivers change hands quickly and, as a result, only last around a year before becoming too damaged to use. In comparison, the £50 note is usually in circulation for five years or more.

The Bank will also encourage shops to give out more £5 notes in change to also meet demand.

However, the downside of stocking machines with £5 notes means ATMs need to be stocked more frequently, which raises security issues.

Earlier this year, banking giant HSBC commenced a pilot scheme in conjunction with the Bank of England. It agreed to stock more £5 notes in 100 of its ATMs across the Midlands and South West England.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s also agreed to stock its ATMs with more £5 notes and said, as a result, it had been able to speed up payment processing at the checkout

Bank of England’s chief cashier Andrew Bailey, whose signature is printed on every Bank of England note, said: “We are very keen to get £5 notes into circulation”.

Mr Bailey told the Banknote Conference in Washington that after the two recent trials the Bank now had the evidence to “press the case for raising the dispense” of £5 notes.

“In the New Year I hope and expect that we will take these examples to other financial institutions and major retailers to make the case for a change of policy towards issuing £5s,” said Mr Bailey.

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