An 8-year contract to supply the polymer substrate for the Bank of England’s new £50 banknote has been awarded jointly to De La Rue and CCL Secure. The first call-off volume will be split between De La Rue’s Safeguard® (45%) and CCL Secure’s Guardian™ (55%). The next call-off, which will cover the polymer £5 and £10, is expected to take place in 2020.
Supply of polymer under the new contract is due to commence in 2020. Currently circulating Bank of England’s £5 and £10 polymer notes are printed on Guardian™, while the new £20 note, due to enter circulation in 2020, will be printed on the substate from both suppliers – 75% CCL and 25% De La Rue. It is expected the composition of the polymer substrate for £50 will be the same as for the £20.
The high-value £50 note has a relatively limited circulation in the UK and predominantly functions as a store-of-value denomination, with the estimated life time for current paper £50 notes exceeding 40 years. It is therefore likely that the enhanced security options, rather than the durability of the polymer substrate, were the key factors in the Bank’s decision to opt for polymer.