Scottish paper notes to leave circulation on 1 March

Paper £5 and £10 notes have given way to polymer versions paying tribute to great Scots

Scottish bank notes
(Image credit: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Scottish shoppers have less than four weeks to spend paper £5 and £10 notes before they are officially taken out of circulation.

The Committee of Scottish Bankers (CSB), which represents banks issuing Scottish currency, has issued a reminder to consumers to get out and spend their paper notes before the 1 March deadline.

Businesses will not be required to accept old-style notes after this date, although they may choose to do so.

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Any lingering paper £5 and £10 Scottish notes can be exchanged at a branch of the bank which issued them.

Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland have been producing polymer versions of Scottish £5 and £10 notes since 2015. They celebrate distinguished Caledonians including author Sir Walter Scott, poet Robert Burns and scientist Mary Somerville.

Polymer delivers “significant benefits” compared to paper, says the CSB, including being “harder to counterfeit” and and “stronger than paper”, meaning they will last longer.

Scottish polymer notes “now account for approx 80% of £10 and 90% of £5 bank notes circulating in Scotland,” according to the CSB.

The Bank of England will also withdraw paper £10 notes from circulation on 1 March, following the introduction of the polymer note, which pays tribute to novelist Jane Austen. The paper £5 note officially disappeared from the high street in May 2017.

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