Monday, February 8, 2016

Royal Bank of Scotland to introduce polymer banknotes

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to switch from its paper money to polymer, following a lead set by its Scottish rivals. Polymer notes will be 15% smaller than the cotton paper variety. They have been found to be cleaner and more secure, and their increased durability should mean lower costs for the bank.

Clydesdale Bank and Bank of Scotland are already making the transition and the Bank of England is to introduce the plastic notes from next year.

RBS said it was to re-design its notes with new subjects for portraits.

The £5 note should be in circulation from the second half of 2016. The design for this note is due to be unveiled this year and will feature an historical literary figure.

The £10 note will be issued in 2017 and will feature a Scottish scientist.

RBS has named three Scottish scientists, two men and one woman, on the shortlist of candidates to appear on the £10 note.

The three are physicist James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville, the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society, and civil engineer Thomas Telford, known as the "Colossus of Roads".

Maxwell (1831-1879), a hero of Albert Einstein, discovered the unified theory of electricity and magnetism.

Somerville (1780-1872) was a pioneer as a female scientist when women’s participation was discouraged. Her writings ultimately led to the discovery of the planet Neptune.

Telford (1757-1843) built more than 1,000 miles of roads in his lifetime and in Scotland designed harbors, tunnels and the Caledonian Canal.

The RBS is asking people to vote via its Facebook page at up until Sunday by “liking” one of the three images.

Left: James Clerk Maxwell   Center: Mary Somerville   Right: Thomas Telford

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