De La Rue, CCL split contract for England’s £50 note

De La Rue and CCL Secure have been awarded a contract to supply polymer for the Bank of England’s new £50 bank note, which will replace the current paper version.

The eight-year contract – which sees the provision of the polymer substrate shared between De La Rue and Australian rival CCL (previously Innovia Security) - also includes future production of polymer for the current £5 and £10 banknotes.

The Treasury says that the new polymer note will last longer and help tackle counterfeiting as it will be harder to forge. The £5 and £10 notes have already switched to polymer, and polymer £20 design is due to launch next year. There’s no word yet on when the polymer £50 will be introduced, other than that it will arrive after the new £20.

The first call-off volume for production of the initial launch stock of £50 has been awarded 45 per cent to De La Rue and 55per cent to CCL, and the next call-off – which will cover the polymer £5 and £10 – is expected to take place in 2020.

The £50 note was first introduced in 1981, and there are currently some 330 million notes in circulation worth around £16.5bn. The polymer for the £20 note will be 75 per cent supplied by CCL and 25 per cent by De La Rue, while at the moment CCL supplies 100 per cent of the £5 and £10 banknotes in circulation.

De La Rue’s chief executive Martin Sutherland – who announced he would be stepping down last week – said that the new contract “is an important strategic milestone as we continue to increase our share of the fast-growing polymer market.” De La Rue’s Safeguard polymer business has increased 23% in the last year.

CCL’s managing director Neil Sanders, said its Guardian polymer notes “have a 30-year track record for reducing counterfeiting rates and a banknote’s carbon footprint over its lifespan, producing a greener, cleaner, more secure and longer-lasting banknote.”

De La Rue is currently responsible for printing all Bank of England notes at a Bank of England facility in Debden having entered into a 10 year contract commencing April 2015.

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