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Bank Notes: Wales

Wales Office written question – answered on 15th March 2016.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

The Bank of England has announced that future banknotes, starting with the polymer £5 note in September 2016, will include symbols that represent all four home nations. For Wales, the imagery will be taken from the Royal Coat of Arms and the Royal Badge of Wales. It was recently announced that the design for the £5 note will be revealed on 2 June 2016.

The UK is rare in allowing commercial banks to issue banknotes. The 1844 Bank Charter Act prevented any other banks, apart from the ones already licensed to do so, from being authorised to issue banknotes.

The North and South Wales Bank was the last Welsh commercial bank that had the ability to issue banknotes. It lost this right when it was bought by Midland Bank in 1908.

The Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, South Wales, remains responsible for manufacturing the coins of the UK.

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