© I-Images via ZUMA/dpa
London (dpa) – The Bank of England is issuing a plastic 5-pound note featuring British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill on Tuesday, saying the new banknotes offer better security and are strong enough to survive a spin in a washing machine.
Commonly known as fivers, the new 5-pound (6.5-dollar) notes are printed on “thin, flexible plastic resistant to dirt and moisture,” and can last 2.5 times longer than paper ones, the central bank said.
“The new fiver has a number of security features which make it even harder to counterfeit,” it said, highlighting a transparent window and a foil image in gold on the front and silver on the back of the note.
Churchill was chosen for the banknotes because he is “one of the greatest statesmen of all time and is the only prime minister to win the Nobel Prize for literature,” Mark Carney, the bank’s governor, said in a statement ahead of the launch of the new note.
“Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory and are testaments to the outstanding achievements of the nation’s greatest individuals,” Carney said.
“Like Churchill, the new polymer note will also stand the test of time.”